A news story that aired on Raleigh’s NBC-17 News last night claimed to offer a “reality check” on how budget cuts affected teaching jobs in North Carolina’s public schools.
Unfortunately, the story left viewers with a mistaken impression that North Carolina’s public schools have weathered recent budget cuts without losing many teaching positions. Although the story is correct to note that 534 teachers were laid off this school year, in addition to 1,260 teacher assistants (based on August 2011 data), layoffs are less relevant than positions lost when looking at the impact of budget cuts on North Carolina’s public schools.
According to the latest data from the NC Department of Public Instruction (NC DPI), North Carolina’s public schools (excluding charters) have 15,497 fewer full-time personnel this year compared to three years ago. Just under one in three of those position losses (4,840) occurred in the last year, and seven in ten of those lost positions since 2009 are the result of fewer teachers (5,134) and teaching assistants (5,738). Read more