Budget cuts cost dozens of Johnston school jobs

Johnston County Schools voted Wednesday to eliminate 123 positions in anticipation of a cut to state funding this year.

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SMITHFIELD, N.C. — Johnston County Schools might have to eliminate up to 170 jobs because of cuts to state education funding, Superintendent Ed Croom said Wednesday.

The Johnston County Board of Education isn't expected to vote on its 2011-12 budget until next week, but board members met behind closed doors Wednesday evening and decided to begin reducing headcount in anticipation of a cut to state funding.

The board voted to eliminate 123 positions: 74 teacher assistants, 29 certified positions, 11 support personnel and nine others.

Croom said when he when drew up his proposed budget, he expected the state contribution to be about 10 percent less, but it now appears state support will be reduced by about 13 percent.

The school district was able to tap about $2 million in federal money that Johnston County had set aside to save other teaching assistant jobs, Croom said. Still, all remaining teaching assistants would see a $1,900-a-year pay cut under the revised budget proposal.

"It's a very, very frustrating thing," Croom said. "This is going to have a tremendous impact on our school system (and) on school systems across the state."

The board could reinstate some of the positions if state funding comes through better than expected, Croom said.



Mike Charbonneau, Reporter
Matthew Burns, Web Editor

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