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Local teachers, schools face uncertainties

Posted July 31, 2009

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— High school Spanish teacher Janet Schwarz has three degrees from North Carolina State University. She never thought she'd be without a job.

"It's just frustrating not knowing where I'm going to be next year," she said.

Dhedra Lassiter Local teachers, schools face uncertainties

Schwarz, of Fuquay-Varina, taught at Knightdale High School under a contract that ended in June. It was not renewed because of state budget cuts and an uncertainty of how much state funding the Wake County Public School System will receive.

Knowing how much funding the state will provide is critical, school system leaders have said. It makes up two-thirds of the Wake school district's budget.

Nearly 1,500 Wake teachers, like Schwarz, had contracts that ended in June, and with funding still unclear, the school system has 550 teachers on a month-to-month contract.

Lately, Schwarz has been sending out her résumé and recommendation letters to other school districts.

So far, she has applied at 23 schools in the area. The responses, she said: "Absolutely nothing."

Dhedra Lassiter is principal at Heritage Middle School, a year-round school in Wake Forest.

Four weeks into the school year, she has nine fewer teachers. Those positions have been eliminated.

"Every day, we look at what we get, what we need, how we can be more efficient," Lassiter said. "You have to rethink how you manage the work."

Until a state budget passes, every Wake County principal can only have 95 percent of the teachers they need, and there might be further budget cuts, depending on the final numbers from the state.

Lassiter doesn't think she'll be able to hire any more teachers. Schwarz said she's holding out hope.

"I am optimistic that schools will start calling once that budget passes," Schwarz said. "There comes a time when it just needs to be passed, because there are so many people like me, just waiting."


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  • cakeladyrn Aug 4, 2009

    How about cutting the overstaffed State Board of Education office instead of cutting the true workers,,,,the teachers!!!!

  • jprime Aug 3, 2009

    My brother in law is in a similar situation. Rest assured that although inconvenient for the teachers without jobs, the students are the ones who will truly suffer because of this.

  • Next_Generation_Educator Jul 31, 2009

    "Call on the NCAE, NEA Obama and Perdue to feed you!"

    Are you kidding me? Is that the best you can do? If you have issues with Obama, the NCAE, Perdue, etc...comment on a story related to something they are or aren't doing. This teacher simply did what she was taught to do - get educated, get a job, and attempt to live the "American Dream". At least have a bit of respect for a person that at least takes some type of ownership. She has applied to several school districts and is continuing to try. I would probably join you in your you-know-what session if the teacher was just sitting around complaining.

  • prn13norm Jul 31, 2009

    Call on the NCAE, NEA Obama and Perdue to feed you!

  • rmsmith Jul 31, 2009

    So with those coming out of state, they should be required to pay X amount in school taxes to cover the increased costs of building new schools and teacher salaries. Those that are illegals, should be deported