Local News

Budget Impasse Holding up School Plans

Posted August 13, 2001 6:44 a.m. EDT

— Many of North Carolina's students return to school this week, but a state budget impasse is making it unclear what may happen in the classroom.

Legislators continue to negotiate over a spending plan of about $14 billion. House and Senate leaders have agreed to pay for reducing kindergarten size, but schools cannot hire the teachers until a final agreement is reached.

The Senate plan would require the hiring of 567 teachers across the state and reduce class size to 18. The House proposal would bring classes down to 19 and require 268 new teachers.

The indecision of lawmakers has also left doubt about how much of a raise teachers will get and whether as many as 50 employees of the

state Department of Public Instruction

l lose their jobs.