Superintendent: Federal cuts to hit NC schools hard

Posted February 25, 2013

— Federal education cuts that will take effect Friday if Congress fails to reach a compromise on the looming sequester will have dramatic impacts on classrooms, students and staff in North Carolina, State Superintendent June Atkinson said Monday.

Nationwide, education cuts weigh in at $3 billion, and the jobs of nearly 40,000 teachers and school employees could be on the chopping block. In North Carolina, the automatic budget cuts would pull $67 million from North Carolina schools, putting the jobs of about 1,500 teachers and school employees at risk, Atkinson said.

The sequester adds up to a 5 percent loss in annual federal funding, Atkinson said, and every school district in the state will feel the sting.

Worse, she said, "our children who live in poverty, our children who take career technical education courses and our students who have disabilities and exceptionalities" will be hit hardest.

Most of the cuts would take effect next school year, but some districts that get extra money for the children of active-duty military members will lose funding immediately.

"It's so frustrating to me that one of the most important aspects of what government does, which is to promote public education, is put in jeopardy," Atkinson said. 

As soon as it becomes clear whether the spending cuts will take effect, the Department of Public Instruction will send school districts their funding allotments, to allow them to plan and prepare to terminate contracts if needed, Atkinson said.

The White House released a memo Sunday detailing state-by-state impacts of the sequester, which presented a slightly different set of numbers for education cuts.

The White House estimates $25 million in cuts to North Carolina schools, putting about 350 teacher and aide jobs at risk, nearly $17 million in cuts to funding for teachers that work with students with disabilities and the elimination of Head Start and Early Head Start programs for about 1,500 children.


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  • tigo7 Feb 28, 2013

    Really tired of hearing from the whining school system. I wonder why the media doesn't research and show the beurocracy associated with the school system. There are about 3 beurocrats for every teacher in the classroom and only in NC can the administration figure out we have to cut classroom teachers. Duh, if you cut out the beurocrats and the needless regulations there is likely enough money to give a raise to the classroom teachers.

  • sceeter Feb 26, 2013

    "..In North Carolina, the automatic budget cuts would pull $67 million from North Carolina schools, putting the jobs of about 1,500 teachers and school employees at risk, Atkinson said..."

    1500 divided by 100 counties = 15 employees per county...

    certain that each county's school system can find 15 employees of some rank and file OR simply do not re-hire for those who retire, quit, get arrested, or whatever.

    I've been laid off a few times (no fault of me own) due to budgetary cutbacks to private sector services (Mental H/SA/DD)... really, after a while... you just get used to it being a part of working in NC.

    Oh, but wait... now that the Governa has cut weekly UE allotments and cut back the # of weeks in which to receive.. guess those 1500 will have to look at Walmart, or McDonald's, or cleaning hotels.. like 10s of 1000s of others. Also, Food Stamps, Medicaid, and Aid for children.. like 10s of 1000s of others.

  • vsusu2002 Feb 26, 2013

    I thought Lottery money was suppose to go to towards education. It seems like every since the lottery was established in NC, the education field has been hit with cuts.

  • josephlawrence43 Feb 26, 2013

    wow--the national socialists have this thing orchestrated down to the smallest degree...They are all singing the same songs of gloom and doom if they don't get more monry to spend. Has anyone considered that the 2.6% cuts are not cuts just reductions in the rate of spending increases. Like to know just how much of an increase did the Education dept. receive over last year in terms of real dollars??? For example--the us dept of transportation is sitting on over $500 million extra dollars over last years allotments--and they are crying that the air transportation system is going to do fold up and blow away...lets get away from the koolaid there folks--a little reality is called for here.

  • shaun2xlife Feb 26, 2013

    Why should we shoulder the responsiblity for feeding and educating your offspring. superman

    Same reason veteran's lose their lives for the masses who have never stood up and fought for this country but claim they love the U.S.A. so much. We are a community whether you like it or not. Selfishness is not a good trait no matter how you package and sell it.

  • delilahk2000 Feb 26, 2013


  • Whatdaheck Feb 26, 2013

    "How come everything Barry has been a part of is some kind of emergency or crisis. Has anyone else noticed that?" Crumps Br0ther

    Because he liked the lesson he learned from Rahm Emanuel: "you never want a serious crisis to go to waste. Now what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you didn't think you could do before". So now this Administration manufactures and magnifies crises.
    As I've been saying lately: seek truth and don't ever be afraid of what you might find. What I mean is when you read or hear something, even from a source you trust, don't just trust it, verify it. Then think about what you learn and apply it to your worldview.

    Realize that we are dealing with politics her and that means an entire world of smoke and mirrors. The 1st step is to debunk the lies and replace them with truth. After that you have to get understanding of the new truths you've discovered and that my friends takes time, effort and, most likely, some outside help. But it is worth it!

  • jason19 Feb 26, 2013

    "If the NEA & AFT unions have any say, they'll throw out the desk/seats and make the kids sit on the floor before they fire a teacher."

    There are no teacher union or state-employee unions in North Carolina. At all. They are illegal. North Carolina state workers cannot even strike, which is why the General Assembly can continue laying off state workers, cutting benefits, and stifling pay with no backlash.

  • delilahk2000 Feb 26, 2013


  • bngexpress Feb 26, 2013

    oh my , oh my , the sky is falling . the quickest way to get people to pay attention is to take from children , the sick , or the elderly , all you have
    to do is say it might happen and people have a fit.