Education

Tata: House budget could affect 1,000 Wake school employees

Posted May 6, 2011 11:05 a.m. EDT
Updated May 6, 2011 6:31 p.m. EDT

— If the House of Representatives' version of the state budget is approved, Wake County schools Superintendent Tony Tata said Friday that the educational cuts could impact about 1,000 school employees.

The impact would be through job cuts, mostly affecting teachers' assistants, or reduction in contract length, meaning pay cuts, particularly for assistant principals, according to Tata.

That all hinges on what happens with the final state budget. Wake schools planned on a 5 percent cut, but the House's budget puts it closer to 9 percent.

"If we go to 8.8 percent, you are talking about 1,000 people that this will impact, so it's pretty significant," Tata said. "The greater the cuts, the greater the impact on our classrooms."

The superintendent said he plans to meet with lawmakers next week to urge them not to approve such sharp cuts.

State Superintendent June Atkinson shared similar concerns.

“I recognize how difficult it is for our General Assembly during these economic times, but it really is important that we invest in our students,” she said.

The state Department of Public Instruction estimates more than 18,000 education positions could be lost statewide under the proposed budget cuts.