Wake County schools warns Senate budget would lead to hundreds of layoffs

Posted by T. Keung Hui on June 2, 2014 

The Wake County school system is warning that the state Senate’s plan to raise teacher pay would result locally in hundreds of classroom layoffs, reduced bus service for families and increase administrative tasks for teachers

The $21.2 billion budget adopted by the Senate early Saturday calls for spending nearly $470 million more to raise teacher pay by an average of 11 percent. But teachers would have to surrender their tenure rights, called career status, to get the higher pay.

To pay for the raises, the budget would make deep education cuts. In a press release Monday, the Wake school system said its initial review of the proposal showed the state’s largest school district would have to:

• Eliminate 693 teacher assistant positions out of 1,250 allotted for the current school year.

• Reduce bus service and the number of drivers used to transport students due to a proposed cut of $2.9 million in transportation funding.

• Reduce the school system’s ability to provide driver education classes for students due to a cut of about $2.8 million.

• Increase administrative tasks for teachers by reducing state funding 5 percent for Wake County administrators and 30 percent for the state Department of Public Instruction.

• In addition, local school systems are required to provide salary increases for any teacher paid with local funding when teachers paid with state money receive a raise. Wake says it would need to spend $13 million more for those raises, which “would likely mean additional cuts in personnel.”

According ot the press release, school system leaders are working with elected leaders at the state and local levels to create alternatives that do not reduce overall support of teachers and ultimately the quality of classroom instruction.

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