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Wake school board hears from public on budget

Posted March 17, 2009

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— The public shared concerns about proposed school budget cuts during Tuesday afternoon’s Wake County Board of Education meeting.

Budget deficits at the state and county levels mean the district could have a shortfall of about $40 million from what it had expected to have in the 2009-10 school year, Superintendent Del Burns has said.

Board members are considering increasing class sizes to reduce the number of teachers needed and eliminating some high school electives to cut costs.

Wake school board hears from public on budget Public reacts to possible Wake schools budget cuts

Burns said the school system can't guarantee that all of the 1,500 school employees whose contracts expire in June will be rehired.

Parent Heather Losurdo said the loss of teachers would go to the “jugular of the lifeline of learning for these kids.”

Most people at the meeting spoke in defense of the Community in Schools program, which offers tutoring and academic support to hundreds of economically at-risk students.

Positions with the CIS program have been frozen. Cutting these positions from the budget would save more than $470,000. CIS volunteers say the program’s expense is ultimately cheaper than the jails in which some at-risk students may end up without the program.

“It costs taxpayers more for prisons than to keep at-risk students in school,” CIS volunteer Ellen Dingman said.

Board of Education members said the budget is in the proposal stages. When funding from the state and county is determined, they will have a better idea what can be saved.

“Then we will be able to make decisions on these … positions we are holding. It is not that we are cutting programs at this point,” board member Beverly Clark said.

Jennifer Lanane, with the North Carolina Association of Educators in Wake County, thinks school leaders can do more.

Lanane told board members she would fight for extra money that could be available from the federal stimulus and in state funds.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • IMHO05 Mar 18, 2009

    djcnty8--I can sympathize, I too am in the same boat as you. Many good teachers at my school scared of the uncertain future. Good Luck to you.

  • baracus Mar 18, 2009

    "BUT, the school Psychologist and school Social Worker, NEITHER of whom he has met in his 4 years of school WILL retain their jobs."

    So you are complaining that your kids do not have learning disabilities or disurptive social problems? Would you feel better if your kids were in special ed but didn't have to change tracks? BTW, my wife is a school psychogist, has more than enough work to do, and there is a decent chance she could lose her job.

  • time4real Mar 18, 2009

    "they get paid more if they work year round."
    not all schools are YR, correct, but more than 1/2 are, BUT, where did you hear those working in YR schools get paid more? WRONG! How's that for info! The work during their "track outs" and get the same pay they were getting before!

    "Not sure how it is a "lie."
    Because we were told we needed all the schools converted for growth. Growth that is not near what they said, less than 1/2, and operating these schools when they are not filled up, no cost savings there my happy friend.

    "Does Kevin Hill do anything?"
    He opens and closes the meeting room doors!

  • uncwalum Mar 18, 2009

    Some counties in South Carolina have ended what they call "double-dipping." They are letting teachers who are retired and have come back to work at lesser pay go first.

  • ncguy Mar 18, 2009

    What happens if gas goes up to $4 a gallon again?

    Stop the diversity bus!

  • djcnty8 Mar 18, 2009

    The cuts being made make no sense and they do not seem to be cost effective. Cutting teachers and Teacher Assistants that make less than some of the staff at Central Office is crazy. A Teacher Assistant makes about 19K per year and only get paid for 10 months of work. Most Central Office staff make about 25 to 30K per year and work year round.

    Where do the cuts need to be made? Central Office staffing, Senior Adminstration, and teachers that have the ability to retire.

  • IMHO05 Mar 18, 2009

    As we can all see the first thing the Board of Education has done is start making cuts directly in the classroom. Has anyone heard of any of the central office staff loosing their jobs yet? What happened to trying not to affect the classrooms? It was at the top of the list. WCPSS is going to loose so many wonderful teachers because the teachers will not be waiting around for the BOE to decide their future. Too bad for our children!

  • commandokidd Mar 18, 2009

    bring back corpral punishment and allow parents to spank children, and then things may return to the way use to be. Ever since those have been taken out, gangs have risen, violence has risen. When I was in school, back in the late70's and mid 80's, we didnt have these problems b/c parents and schools were allowed to do this, guess this goes with the death penalty, "its too harsh" oh give me a break, did they ask the victim that?"

  • yeah Mar 18, 2009

    TA's in Wake make such little money, if they terminated all of them it wouldn't amount to much savings.

  • PirateHeist Mar 17, 2009

    "They get summers off so they should stop complaining." HA, did you stop taking your meds?


    I didn't realize ALL wake county schools are year round. In any case, they get paid more if they work year round. Year round is a great way to save money actually. I went to year round for 3 years and actually enjoyed the split up of breaks. Not sure how it is a "lie." No meds or other drugs necessary here pal, I am high on life. I wish I had time to play Wii though it sounds fun.