Local Politics

Potential budget cuts hit classrooms to prisons

Posted November 22, 2010

— State agencies have put thousands of jobs and numerous services on the chopping block to help erase a projected shortfall in next year's budget of more than $3 billion.

Gov. Beverly Perdue asked agencies in September to draw up a list of spending cuts of between 5 and 15 percent. The agencies began submitting their proposals to Perdue's office last week.

The reports indicate significant layoffs across all departments. The Department of Public Instruction, for example, indicates that up to 5,313 teachers and 13,259 teacher assistants statewide could be out of work under a 10 percent cutback.

"It is alarming," Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson said Monday.

Atkinson said the cuts would mean larger classes, fewer courses and less support for struggling students in North Carolina's public schools.

"When you look at our budget there, we have no place else to go," she said.

Many agencies said they cut all of the excess from their budgets over the past two years, when the state also had to close budget gaps.

North Carolina flag, NC flag, state flag, N.C. flag State agencies submit lists of possible budget cuts

The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services didn't even provide Perdue with possible spending reductions because Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said his programs couldn't stand any more cuts.

The report compiled by the Department of Correction includes cuts of only 2 percent. Spokeswoman Pamela Walker said most of the department's dollars go to the salaries of people who provide public safety, so it's hard to cut any more.

The DOC's suggested cuts include moving about 2,600 people who have been convicted of misdemeanors out of state prisons.

"We have to look at which ones are lower risk and lower needs," Walker said. "What we would do is look at how we would supervise them in the community. So, it's not something (where) they would be let out."

The DOC also is looking at eliminate transitional housing and treatment programs for hundreds of inmates and laying off dozens of litter crew supervisors and others.


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  • krh1125 Nov 24, 2010

    I'm a teacher, and I'm just wondering how they plan on having larger classes and less support for struggling students... where do they think a lot of these kids without a proper education are going to end up? BACK IN PRISON.

  • beachman Nov 23, 2010

    Why does it cost so much to house an inmate? A Minimum Custody inmate coast's $23,575 a year. A Medium Custody inmate coast's $27,820 a year. And a Close Custody inmate coast's $32.262 a year. I dont make this much and i work every day and bills out the back side, Oh an they have free medical and dental aswell. Why are they spending so much on them in these hard times? I dont see why anyone is homeless and hungry, If you go to prison you get three meals a day and clothing and medical care all for free.

  • pamelaking125 Nov 23, 2010

    If u necver been inside D.O.C. how about talking about something u got facts on....

  • pamelaking125 Nov 23, 2010

    I thought that is why they called it Department of Corrections to train the inmate in a trade to get a job instead of stealing and robbing, now since our fine Goverrnor wants to cut schooling, why not Call Department of Corrections. D.O.S Depepartment of sweat shops they all across the state hiring inmates to build prisons and hiring them to work at the Governor mansion cookoing cleaning Lawn, I know this for fact I was one of these inmates.. Cut thiose Bev do your own cooking and cleaning stop letting the tax payers flip that bull when the inmate only nake 10-15 dollars a week to do it..

  • rgbreed Nov 23, 2010

    "Outta of state prisons", EXACTLY! National Guard, concertina wire and army surplus cots. No sheets. Two pieces of bread and one slice of bologna. DONE!

    mikeyj, I prefer to take the Christian approach (read Matthew 25). Inmates are human beings. Granted some are evil but most of them are regular people who made bad choices, or even regular people convicted of crimes they didn't even commit. I can only hope that someone with your ideas on incarceration never ends up as one of those people...and don't be so arrogant as to think it could never happen to you.

  • rgbreed Nov 23, 2010

    As for the buses, they shouldn't have to stop at every driveway. That is ridiculous. Have them stop at every third of forth house and let the kids walk that short distance. I think it might even be feasible to shorten the school week to four days, and just add the extra hours on each day. I'm sure the teachers wouldn't mind, and I know the student's wouldn't (one day less of busing, one day less of heating/cooling the school, one day less cooking lunch, etc.)

  • rgbreed Nov 23, 2010

    "The DOC also is looking at eliminat[ing] transitional housing and treatment programs for hundreds of inmates and laying off dozens of litter crew supervisors and others."

    Are you kidding me? This is a bad idea on so many levels. Yes, it might save a little now, but it will cost much more later. It makes no sense to save a dollar today by eliminating something that will incur a ten dollar dept in a couple of years.

    The inmates working on the side of the road earn $1 a day, or less. However, they use that money to pay for things they need in prison (toothpaste, shampoo, medical visits, edible food, etc.). If they don't earn that little bit, they are "indigent" and the state picks up the tab while the inmates sit around doing nothing.

    As for the treatment programs, I don't think I have to explain that alcohol/drug/sex crimes are committed by those who need treatment. If they are run through DOC with no rehabilitation, they come right back. Not a smart move at all.

  • Silver bullet1 Nov 23, 2010

    Where is NCDOT's cut list????? They are the biggest abuser of state money. They do not need to buy new trucks every year. Change the tires and oil, and save about $33,000 per truck. And they also have to many supervisors on road work sites. Cut them out.

  • Caveman93 Nov 23, 2010

    Waiting for a tear to form...wait for it...wait for it...no luck sorry.

  • krazykristie06 Nov 23, 2010

    cut out the ride home after school, so kids can play sports. it was cut once, but put back in place the last i heard

    So you want kids who live 10 miles away from the school to walk that? Some parents can't be there to pick up there kids at 2:30 or 3:00. It's much too dangerous for the kids to walk home. I'm happy for the buses!