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Education cuts coming home to roost (UPDATED)

(This post has been updated to include a link to another story documenting local education cuts).
That muffled roar you’re beginning to hear is the sound of education leaders across the state confronting and reacting to the reality of the cuts in education that the new state budget imposes — you know, the new budget [1] that Gov. McCrory and right-wing think tankers have been bragging about.

Yesterday, the High Point Enterprise reported [2] on the comments of Randolph County Community College President Robert Shackleford, Jr.:

“The head of Randolph Community College, where GOP Gov. Pat McCrory signed his first bill six months ago on education, is warning of unwelcome consequences for his school because of the recent Republican state budget.

RCC President Robert Shackleford Jr. said the community college system portion of the budget will lead to higher costs for courses and probably cutbacks in classes.

The budget includes a $2.50 per credit hour tuition increase for community college curriculum students and a continuing education registration fee increase of $5 per course, Shackleford said. The budget also repeals the senior citizen tuition waiver for community college courses.

Shackleford maintains that community colleges overall will lose 1.6 percent in the state budget, a contention countered by a Republican leader in the General Assembly.”

Meanwhile, this is from this morning’s Greenville [3]Daily Reflector [3]:

“Pitt County Board of Education members on Monday heard criticism of state budget cuts from their interim superintendent and board chairman.

Interim Schools Superintendent Michael Cowin and board Chairman Marc Whichard said they expected the cuts to hinder education efforts this year, calling them ‘an embarrassment.

The officials said the 2013-14 North Carolina budget will negatively affect public instruction in several ways, including the elimination of teacher tenure and pay for teachers with master’s degrees.”

And this is from the Salisbury Post [4]:

“The Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education tentatively agreed to a budget Monday that cuts more than 80 positions but spares most teacher assistants.

That’s in spite of the fact that the N.C. General Assembly cut 21 percent of its funding for teacher assistants, meaning $1.5 million less for the Rowan-Salisbury School System….

[Chief Financial Officer Tara] Trexler said that after adding up state reductions and expired federal funding, the school system faces a total deficit of $5.015 million.

She said staff has already made some cuts, including:

• Reclassification of human resources assistant superintendent position to executive director of human resources, saving $40,000.

• Restructuring of human resources department and cutting one HR specialist position, saving $40,000.

• Reduction of teaching positions, including non-renewal of teachers approved by the school board in May, saving $3.3 million.

• Restructuring of the AIG program, cutting four positions without impacting services, saving $200,000.

• Cutting instructional supplies by 2/3 of the state’s $600,000 cut, saving $400,000. The other $200,000 will be paid with local funds, which in the past have covered all state cuts to supplies.

‘We have cut over 200 positions over the past four years, and this would be an additional 88 positions that we have already implemented,’ Trexler said.”