Rural counties to feel education cuts most

Posted June 27, 2011 5:22 p.m. EDT
Updated June 27, 2011 5:48 p.m. EDT

— The state's $19.7 billion budget is expected to mean cuts to thousands of education jobs, and the smaller rural counties are expected to feel the biggest impact.

The Nash-Rocky Mount school district is facing a $4.9 million discretionary cut. The school system also expects to have to lay off employees, including teachers and teacher's assistants. As of Monday, they did not have final numbers on how many layoffs would be needed. A spokeswoman for the district said leftover funding from the Education Jobs Fund (EduJobs) Program will help protect some jobs. 

A spokeswoman with Wilson County schools said the EduJobs program will help prevent the district from layoffs. At one time, the school board authorized cutting up to 118 jobs, if necessary. Some programs, including a dropout prevention program, will be cut to make up for the $3 million less the district will be receiving from the state next year. 

Between 15 and 20 jobs, including at least three high-level central office positions, have been cut in Edgecombe County schools. The district is still looking into where additional cuts will need to be made, saying no employee in the system is immune. 

Wayne County Schools faces a $5.6 million discretionary cut next year. They are still looking to determine what if any cuts they'll have to make to absorb that.

Wake County Superior Court Judge Howard Manning Jr. held a hearing last week to determine whether education cuts in the budget are unconstitutional. He has not yet issued a ruling.