Wake County Schools

Wake classrooms protected, but other cuts loom

Posted June 17, 2011

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— Classroom positions in Wake County will be protected and some new teachers will be hired, but hundreds of jobs will be lost in administrative, custodial, clerical and transportation services under the state budget that became law Wednesday, school officials said.

The $19.7-billion budget provided funding to protect teachers and teachers' assistants in kindergarten and grades 1-3, Superintendent Tony Tata said Friday. Each elementary school in the county will also gain a teacher.

Overall, Wake County schools will receive about $40 million less under this year's state budget than the previous one, Chief Business Officer David Neeter said. Federal funds of $30 million left over from last year will help make up the difference.

The state budget tripled discretionary cuts from $4 million in earlier versions of the budget, to $12 million. Those cuts include:

  • $4 million from non-instructional support
  • $1 million from transportation services
  • $850,000 from the Central Office

Mostly custodial positions will be cut, along with some additional Central Office jobs, Tata said. Those are in addition to the loss of 165 clerical and 47 Central Office positions made in the $1.25 billion budget adopted by the school board in May.

Teacher's assistants pay could also be cut by about 7.5 percent. Neeter said he would request the school board to cut their contracts from 10 to 9.25 months.

The budget law also increases the school year from 181 to 185 days, which will incur additional transportation costs and eliminate some teacher workdays, the superintendent said. He expects that year-round schools, which could be over-crowded, will get waivers to make up the hours in different ways.

Next year, Wake County schools could face a $27 million shortfall in state and federal funds, Tata said, adding that he's already looking at ways to deal with that.

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  • emkirsch Jun 24, 2011

    Ok if you are going to cut $1 million from transportation services and then add extra school days...how do you now pay the bus drivers and extra gasoline costs???????????

  • Plenty Coups Jun 17, 2011

    "but given that you work inside a school I can pretty much guarantee that after your 30 years of service you still won't be making as much as I do per year 5 years into my career."

    Thank you for agreeing that teachers should make more money.

  • mep Jun 17, 2011

    lrevans316 "To the person who said that parents should pay for their child's education out of their pocket and not the taxpayers....some do! It is called Private school and Homeschooling". Well I propose having EVERYONE pay out of pocket for public education. Even if it is only a few dollars each month from the poorest of poor... at least they would begin to take some responsibility for their child's education. As for the cuts... I would LOVE to have a school on every street corner, that came with a ten student classroom, two cops, a fire station, free clinic, library, post office, and maybe even a pool. But the REALITY is taxpayers can not afford it! We can not afford all the govt we have now. So pick what you want to cut carefully, cause someone WILL suffer for it. Maybe welfare, medical services for the poor, housing assistance, road repairs, fire, police, take your pick.... plenty of programs can withstand a good cut... right?

  • mep Jun 17, 2011

    Mr. Middle of the Road "There are plenty of private schools out there. Why should the government fund more? If you can't afford to send your child to private school, then you shouldn't expect the government to help. Its that simple. Close all of the charter schools".... There are not "plenty of private schools", but there could be if schools had to compete for funding. And how about giving me all my property taxes, sales tax, and Federal income taxes taken from me to PAY for the declining public education system. Then I would have more than enough money to send my children to a nicely run private "religious" school. After all... the kids DO score better, and spend less per child. Seems a free market modeled education is better.

  • scuse2 Jun 17, 2011

    That's exactly the point DML....teachers are underpaid, as are other state employees

  • DML Jun 17, 2011

    "DML you should REALLY search for the truth. NC became #49 after the vote the other night. Your data is OLD. Have you ever worked inside of a school? I thought not, therefore I wont tell you how to empty the trash and clean toliets if you dont stick your paws in your mouth about the education system"

    Do you really think we are the only state that's broke and realizes that they have to make cuts to education? There's plenty of states on the list that are in worse financial shape than us and will be making even more drastic cuts to their budgets. Cute comment about the trash cans and such, but given that you work inside a school I can pretty much guarantee that after your 30 years of service you still won't be making as much as I do per year 5 years into my career.

  • Mr. Middle of the Road Jun 17, 2011

    There are plenty of private schools out there. Why should the government fund more? If you can't afford to send your child to private school, then you shouldn't expect the government to help. Its that simple. Close all of the charter schools.

  • mep Jun 17, 2011

    Taxpayers need options beyond the forced public education monopoly, with its mediocre standards, and even more mediocre results. When schools are forced to compete for students/dollars, the standards of the entire education system with improve. When PARENTS have to write out a check each month for their children's education, they WILL take more responsibility for it. As it is now... those that pay the most in taxes, reap the least from the public system... unless they can afford both the taxes AND private school. But they still get a raw deal. Continuing to throw more and more taxpayer money at the problem is not working!

  • iamsiam1096 Jun 17, 2011

    and again...$$$ per child proves nothing so I really don't care who is laughing. America spends more money per child than most other countries and we are no where for it. The teachers have to teach to the test which keeps getting dumbed down so more can pass and we keep falling behind. America as a whole needs to wake up, and lift the bar. Money isn't the answer to every issue. There are schools that put out excellent brilliant students on a shoe string budget. It comes down to raising the bar and raising expectations instead of lowering the standard for fear of hurting someone's feelings. Not everyone makes the team, not everyone is gifted in the same area but kids are not taught this nor are they taught to deal with failure. They are taught instant gratification, quick and easy, scream it is someone else's fault, it isn't fair, or I am not responsible. Well life isn't fair. I worry about the future with this kind of mindset.

  • lrevans316 Jun 17, 2011

    To the person who said that parents should pay for their child's education out of their pocket and not the taxpayers....some do! It is called Private school and Homeschooling. I am still bothered that education gets cut and cut forgetting about the children and our future. Who's going to be taking care of you in your old age?? These children!! yes cut education and pay four men to dig a hole on the side of the road! You watch! when you see road construction going on..most of the men are just standing around or there are three men watching one man dig a hole. I am serious!

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