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Wake schools begin hiring freeze

Posted February 6, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

Wake County Public School System
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— Due to tough economic conditions, the Wake County Public School System has implemented a hiring freeze until at least June 30, the school system announced Friday.

As of Feb. 6, 42 empty positions will remain unfilled unless they are "mission critical," school officials said. The openings range from janitorial to physical therapy.

Wake County students catch the school bus. Wake County schools institute hiring freeze

"Although Wake County's economy is in a better position than most, our state and county governments still expect a serious shortfall in revenue," Superintendent Del Burns said in a school system news release.

You can listen to Burns talk about the hiring freeze.

"We are positioning WCPSS for anticipated decreases in revenue based on trends in the economy. These are uncertain times for families, businesses and WCPSS employees alike, but together we can work through them," he said.

Principals are allowed to offer contracts ending on June 30 to teachers needed to fill school-based teaching vacancies. Filling mission-critical vacancies elsewhere in WCPSS will require Burns' approval.

Wake County Schools spokesman Michael Evans said the district is trying to be as "proactive as possible" to avoid layoffs.

“The last thing you want to do with moral is have a layoff, so we are trying to avoid that at all costs,” Evans said.

The Wake County Board of Education reduced the school system's budget by $11.2 million on Dec. 2 due to a directive from the state and a request from county government.

State funding was reduced by 1.45 percent for Central Services and 0.73 percent for schools. Local funding was reduced by 2.88 percent for Central Services and 0.49 percent for schools.

Out-of-state travel was frozen systemwide, although school field trips are exempt. The board deferred the purchase of replacement fixed assets and new buses as well.

School budgets for instructional supplies and classroom materials were reduced by $7.25 per student, according to school officials.

"Past actions by the school board and our leadership team have helped minimize the impact to our classrooms to this point, although we now have less flexibility," said Chief Business Officer David Neter. "We will continue to manage the economic uncertainty in a thoughtful, methodical and deliberate manner with a focus on our students, as well as the WCPSS employees who serve them and our schools."

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  • NE Raleigh Feb 6, 2009

    How about a reassignment freeze? If they need to students to fill new schools they will also need teachers to teach in the new schools. Yes?

  • carolinagirl75 Feb 6, 2009

    mention has been made of salary freezes. while the state does pay the base salary, almost all local school systems in NC provide a local supplement. this is used to cover cost of living and to attract teachers. I would not be suprised if Wake freezes the local supplements. Also, the county or state could very well freeze teachers pay increases called "steps" (We get an increase in pay w/each year.

  • GibsonExp Feb 6, 2009

    People are still buying lottery tickets, so where is all the "education lottery" money when we need it?

  • AX Feb 6, 2009

    I am single and do not have children, However Im paying more taxes to Wake County Schools than couples who are hatching out children like crazy. I can see helping to support one or 2 children but when a couple chooses to have more kids, they alone should finance the additional childrens' education. Or we can cap it at one child if that helps...

  • yeah Feb 6, 2009

    The overflow students are already at Panther Creek - they just can't use the trailers. The reassignment moves hundreds of students out of Panther Creek. Just get rid of the trailers!

  • bigfatcat91 Feb 6, 2009

    Might this be a way to come up with the money to pay for the widening of Hwy 55 because the town of Cary refused to. And they finally relized that they have to stop useing the students at panther creek as their pawns in this politcal game.

  • superman Feb 6, 2009

    motheroftwo-- I would have thought you worked in Personnel you are so knowledgable about each persons degree and qualifications. (not to mention-- how these people got their jobs)

  • superman Feb 6, 2009

    Working couples with no children and retired people also fund these schools. About 80% of the Wake County property tax goes to support your children. I do not work for Wake County and have never had the pleasure. You dont like having people working in the accounting office but then you want people working in the accounting office to maintain financial responsiblity. You want it both ways. You dont like busing-- home school your kids.

  • thought Feb 6, 2009

    so I guess I won't be getting a call for a job on that application. I guess the children's needs are not important to the county. I hope Johnson county will look at my application.

  • chance Feb 6, 2009

    Ummmm ... Didn't the state just get busted because the school NC school system is a mess? Yep ... the obvious solution here it to freeze hiring and leave the teaching positions vacant. I agree with the busing comment. Privitizing that and busing kids all over the county is a joke ... not to mention the company running it is a total joke. I can't tell you how many times my kids were left standing at the bus stop and not bus ever came. At one point they didn't have a bus driver for the route for the first two weeks of school and didn't tell anybody. Just left the middle schools kids waiting every day. Each day we complained we were told a bus would be there the following morning to pick them up ... and each morning the bus never showed up. A total joke!

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