Schoolboard, Commissioners, Continue Budget Fight
Posted July 11, 2001
FAYETTEVILLE — Cumberland County Commissioners and school board members are back to the drawing board in their struggle over the school budget.
Wednesday, a mediator decided that there will not be an impasse in negotiations, which means for now the school board will not sue the county.
"We were very hopeful yesterday that something would come from our session, and were very disappointed when it did not," said school board Chairperson Diane Wheatley.
For the past two months, Cumberland County commissioners and school board members have been at odds over next year's budget. County commissioners said they will give schools $51.2 million. Board members want $56.9 million, the same amount they had last year.
To help make ends meet, the superintendent cut middle-school sports, some assistant principals, and teachers. Now, school board members say enough is enough, and they say they are not budging until commissioners meet their request.
"We're hoping even if it's to the court steps we'll have the best results for our children in Cumberland county," said Wheatley.
Now the two sides head back to mediation, which could happen as soon as Thursday or Friday.