Tracking the Cuts: The Dismantling of Our Public Schools

Tracking the Cuts: The Dismantling of Our Public Schools

trackingCuts-web-600Gaston County Schools, located just west of Charlotte, will cut 50 teacher assistant positions.

The Gaston Gazette reports that last year, the school system also cut 50 teacher assistant positions.

School officials are still trying to sort out how many of those 50 positions will be eliminated by way of attrition, and how many current TAs will receive pink slips.

Gaston County joins a growing list of school districts that have been forced to make difficult cuts as the 2013-14 school year approaches.


While the debate rages on about whether or not North Carolina’s General Assembly actually made damaging cuts to public schools with the 2013-15 budget, NC Policy Watch is keeping a running tally of education funding cuts that local school districts are coping with as they open up for the 2013-14 academic year.

The list below links to stories in local media that detail the funding cuts at the school district level. The information in these stories is subject to change. This list will be continually updated; if you have a report to add, please email


  • 17 teaching positions lost;
  • 35 teacher assistant positions lost;
  • 2 assistant principal positions lost;
  • 3 directors lost;
  • 4 student-support psychologist positions lost;
  • $1.6 million in cuts for classroom supplies, technology and staff development [The Times News]

Buncombe County:

  • 24 teacher assistants lost;
  • Teacher assistants who remain will face reduced hours and days on the job. [Black Mountain News]

Burke County

  • $1.35 million budget reduction;
  • 43.5 teaching positions eliminated;
  • 2 instructional support positions eliminated. [The News Herald]

Cabarrus County:

  • In May, the system laid off 129 teacher assistant positions; they have been able to restore only 22, resulting in a loss of 107 teacher assistants. [The Hickory Record]

Camden County:

  • Camden will lose funding for six teaching positions and four teacher assistant positions;
  • Superintendent Hawkins said he plans to fund his district’s teaching and teacher assistant positions that the state will not be paying for this year. [The Daily Advance]

Charlotte-Mecklenberg Schools

  • 220 teacher assistant positions lost;
  • Reduced hours and days for teacher assistants;
  • Reduction for instructional supplies. [CMS 2013-14 Budget Report]

Cleveland County

  • 50-60 teaching positions will likely be eliminated;
  • 30 teacher assistant positions eliminated;
  • Dozens of teacher assistants should expect reduced hours. [Shelby Star]

Clinton City Schools:

  • 10 teacher positions lost;
  • $238k reduction in teacher assistant funding; and
  • 51% reduction in funding for instructional supplies.
  • The Clinton City Board of Education has not yet decided if local funds can plug some of the holes. [The Sampson Independent]

Craven County:

  • 5 teacher assistants will be laid off;
  • Additional 19 percent funding reduction for jobs next year and a spending freeze on all teacher assistant positions []

Cumberland County:

Edenton-Chowan Schools:

  • Facing a reduction in state funding of $831,385;
  • May cut as many as 8½ teaching positions;
  • May cut 8 teacher assistant positions;
  • Also faces a 50 percent reduction in funding of classroom materials — it received $132,631 last year, versus $64,926 this year;
  • 78 percent reduction in funding of textbooks. [The Daily Advance]

Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Schools:

  • 19.5 teaching positions cut;
  • 14 teacher assistant positions cut;
  • One instructional support position cut;
  • $4,000 in funds used for the English as a Second Language program cut for 2013-14. [The Daily Advance]

Gaston County

  • 50 teacher assistant positions will be eliminated, on top of 50 lost teacher assistant positions cut last year. [Gaston Gazette]

Guilford County:

  • No TAs cut in exchange for all 1,300 teacher assistants losing 7 paid workdays. [News & Record]

Onslow County:

  • 169 positions will not be funded for teachers, teacher assistants and instructional support. []

Perquimans County:

  • 6.5 teaching positions lost;
  • 5 teacher assistants lost;
  • Funding of classroom materials cut to $52,548. Perquimans had been planning on receiving about $107,000, based on student enrollment projections for the upcoming year;
  • Textbook funding will also be reduced to $26,000. [The Daily Advance]

Randolph County:

  • All teacher assistants will take a 6% reduction in salaries next year;
  • The county will also use remaining textbook funding to try to cover remediation and staff development;
  • Instructional supplies will take a hit. [The Courier-Tribune]

Rowan-Salisbury Schools:

  • More than 80 positions will be lost;
  • $600,000 cut to instructional supplies. [Salisbury Post]



  1. Doug

    August 15, 2013 at 11:17 am

    You guys go on and on about these phantom “cuts” when the increase in school funding this year more than covers population growth and inflation To review – there is roughly a 4.8% increase in education spending while student population is to increase by less than 1% and inflation is 1.6%. This reeks more of the typical political trope of the “stakeholders” making the most painful cuts possible in the most publicized manner possible in order to conserve their own power as much as possible. Meanwhile, administrators get rich pay packages and they keep increasing the number of administrators in lieu of actual teachers. How many $150k plus administrators do you really need pushing paper? How many teachers or TA’s would that pay for?

    What you see now is actually a bloated industry that is to be forced to become more efficient and effective to stay in competition for state funds. What we REALLY need to do is hold our local school boards accountable……each one of you need to do some research to see how top loaded your school board is and ask some tough questions about that.

  2. gregflynn

    August 15, 2013 at 11:45 am

    What about the 4.8 percent increase in public school funding? Where does that number come from?
    This percentage is from a comparison between the FY 2012-13 Budget Money Report with this year’s Budget Money Report ($7,865,960,649 vs. $7,506,553,067) — a 4.8 percent increase. The 4.8 percent increase reflects increases in the state retirement contribution, hospitalization costs, and the 1.2 percent pay increase that was provided to teachers and public school personnel in 2012-13 but not placed in the public school fund at that time. These three things make up $259 million of the 4.8 percent “increase” in the public school fund, but these dollars are either not new to schools or represent status quo funding only, and will not go to support the additional services or personnel needed to help students learn.

    The Governor’s Continuation Budget and the final budget also restored $72 million to line items that were over-expended (longevity, workers comp, unemployment, etc.). This restoration also explains part of the difference in the two Money Reports.

    Finally, the public schools’ student population grew by 17,192 students. So, without going line item by line item, the simple comparison between Money Reports from last year and this year would indicate a difference of $359,407,582, or 4.8%.

    When you take that amount and back out the salary and benefit changes for FY 2012-13 ($259 million) and the coverage for over-expended line items ($72 million), you are left with $28 million to serve 17,192 more students. By the way, the actual cost to serve these new students is more than $5,400 each but the amount provided in this budget is far lower, $1,629 per student.

  3. Doug

    August 15, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    greggy, nice article, but it does not explain that they have 4.8% more. Every year you can thow recurring items in and out to make your story but all entities have to deal with things such as this every year. It does not take away from the fact that the education complex has a HUGE amount of other people’s money to play with….and play with they do with little regard for fiduciary duties.

  4. Doug

    August 15, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    Oh, and greggy you need to start posting your reference if you are going to present as facts your little treastise. We should at least be treated to which leftist organization can make up so many hilarious “facts”.

  5. Alan

    August 15, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    Oh, come on…. seriously….?

  6. GEC

    August 15, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Public schools have taken large hits in funding for the past 8 school years. The 4.8% increase is NOT a true increase over the amount of money systems received last year…..sorry! I cannot explain the whys and hows…..but, most or all systems in the foothills of NC are bracing for heavy cuts. So if an increase of 4.8% WHY more cuts? In our system, there are many “paper pushers ” who are now doing the job 4-5 people did 10 years ago. Also, 8 years ago classes had15-18 students….classes now 22-24 students or more depending on the age of the student. PS….I find that our school system doesn’t have “….HUGE amounts of money to play with.”…I am sure you are not aware Raleigh will send money to a system, then “realize” they have a short fall, and ask for a percentage back (yes, from every system!). That happens every year!

    Teachers haven’t gotten any pay increases in at least 6 years. Also, there are state employees
    with no college/college degree making more than a teacher with a master’s degree.

  7. GEC

    August 15, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    Doug….did you read the article about? Do you believe all those newspapers made up those “phantom cuts?”

  8. gregflynn

    August 15, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    I have previously posted the source of the rebuttal to the erroneous 4.8% claim which you have reposted like spam numerous times. The fact that you now request the link when it is omitted tells me you have no real interest in it.

  9. Alan

    August 15, 2013 at 8:52 pm


    Typical GOP tactics, repeat the same lies, over & over & over and the uneducated masses (GOP voters) believe it to be true. A little bit like WMD in Iraq…

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