Wake County Schools

Tata rallies Wake teachers amid budget worries

Posted July 5, 2011 5:07 p.m. EDT
Updated July 5, 2011 6:52 p.m. EDT

— The Wake County Public School System's superintendent on Tuesday set out on a series of rallies with teachers prior to the start of the 2011-12 school year, encouraging them to stay focused on student achievement amid budget worries.

Tony Tata met with hundreds of educators from approximately 20 year-round schools, he said, in an effort to help ease their concerns.

The school system has already cut more than 200 clerical and administrative jobs, and more job cuts are expected in the weeks ahead because of reduced funding – $40 million less than the 2010-11 school year.

"I told them right up front (that) protecting teachers and the classrooms are my No. 1 priority," Tata said. "That will remain my No. 1 priority."

Tata said that it is important to him, as a leader, to help keep teachers focused on the school system's mission, vision and core beliefs.

"I think there are outside influences that are always going to be there, and we can't let that impact our quality of instruction or what we give our students, Heather Lynch, a teacher at Wilburn Elementary School, said.

Tata's two meetings on Tuesday were the first of 15 Tata is holding before the new school year.

Classes for the fall semester begin July 11 for some students enrolled in year-round schools. Students enrolled in traditional-calendar schools begin class on Aug. 25.