Tracking the Cuts: The Dismantling of Our Public Schools

trackingCuts-web-600The Salisbury Post reports that the Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education approved its final budget this week – and 88 jobs were eliminated, including classroom positions. The school system is also increasing its class size formula by one student.

Fifty of the 88 jobs that were eliminated were teacher positions. Many have been rehired in the school system or another school system, although it’s not clear if they were hired in different capacities.

Instructional supplies were cut by $400,000. The school system was able to find $200,000 to keep the cut from being $600,000 overall.

Rowan-Salisbury was able to avoid cutting most teacher assistant positions, although 17 that were added last year were not renewed this year.

Read the full story here.

Rowan-Salisbury 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 lindsay@ncpolicywatch.com.


  • 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]

Brunswick County:

  • 19 teacher assistant positions lost;
  • Instructional supplies reduced by $48,407; planning to restore with local funds.  However, the per pupil amount will likely decrease slightly because we have the same amount of funding and anticipate more students.  [Officials from Brunswick County Public Schools]


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]

Caldwell County:

  • 43 teaching positions lost;
  • 30 teacher assistant positions lost;
  • 2 instructional support positions lost;
  • Class sizes will increase from one to three students per class;
  • Funding for textbooks was cut by 77 percent, a $634,000 reduction;
  • Funding for instructional supplies – which covers basic supplies such as paper and pencils – was cut by 51 percent, a reduction of $374,000. [The News-Topic]

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 [WCTI12.com]

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]

Franklin County

  • 23 teacher assistant positions lost over the past five years;
  • Cuts to instructional supplies and other areas TBD

Gaston County

  • 50 teacher assistant positions eliminated, on top of 50 lost teacher assistant positions cut last year;
  • 31 of those positions were actual layoffs; 19 others were moved to disadvantaged schools thanks to the availability of federal funds earmarked for those schools;
  • It is possible that seven TAs will be rehired at the start of the school year. [Gaston Gazette]

Guilford County:

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

Iredell-Statesville Schools:

Onslow County:

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

Nash-Rocky Mount Schools:

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]

Roanoke Rapids Graded School District

Rowan-Salisbury Schools:

  • 88 positions will eliminated;
  • 50 teaching positions cut;
  • 17 teacher assistant positions cut;
  • Class size formula increased by one student;
  • $400,000 cut to instructional supplies. [Salisbury Post]

Scotland County

  • 45 teacher assistant positions eliminated, which includes 25 layoffs;
  • All TAs will see their salaries reduced to 82 percent of what they would normally receive;
  • Other bookkeeping, custodial and finance positions will be eliminated. [The Laurinburg Exchange]

Stanly County

  • Teacher assistants hours cut by 30 minutes each day;
  • Four teacher assistant positions will be eliminated;
  • One custodian position and one receptionist position will be eliminated
  • Textbooks will be reduced by $75,000. [The Stanly News and Press]

Surry County

  • 10.5 teacher assistant positions eliminated;
  • 13 teaching positions eliminated;
  • Class size increases are taking a toll on teachers;
  • More than 100 instructional positions lost during the past five years. [Travis Reeves, Surry County Schools Superintendent]


  1. Alan aka Captain America

    August 29, 2013 at 10:34 am

    I haven’t seen Doogies 4.8% comment for a few days, whats up?

  2. LayintheSmakDown

    August 29, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    It is truly a shame that all these school systems try to shaft teachers and students when MOST systems are sitting on huge wads of cash…just check out Moore County with their $12 million slush fund and dig in on other fund balances.

    Now here is Brunswick County supporting the schools on the local level……as it should be. These school systems are being built on a solid foundation at the local level where the value is more easily seen. One more nail in the coffin of the “dismantling” meme that you guys are trying to perpetuate.


    WRAL is covering the rich perks the administration gets in the typical schoo system. This is where your teacher and TA pay REALLY goes.


    And in Buncombe County they have plenty of cash to throw at thier cronies:


  3. RJ

    August 29, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    OK, LSD, there 100 counties in our fair state, and you say that “MOST” have “huge wads of cash” that they could spend on teachers’ pay.

    You’re an accountant, so you know how to tell if an entity is hoarding cash from examining its balance sheet. Public school systems have open books. So please list these 51 counties.

    Or is “most” another word beyond your comprehension?

  4. Alan aka Captain America

    August 29, 2013 at 2:46 pm


    “And in Buncombe County they have plenty of cash to throw at thier cronies”, same opinion on McCrory’s staffers and their huge pay increases?

  5. gregflynn

    August 29, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    LayintheSmakDoug, broken record of misinformation, Moore County doesn’t have a slush fund, it had a perfectly normal positive reserve balances in one account which it used to pay for needs in another account.

    The Wake County Schools budget is $1.3 billion, which coincidentally is the same as Red Hat’s revenue for 2013. Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst makes $7.2 million. The Wake County School Superintendent makes A LOT less. Seizing on the disparity between teacher pay and superintendent pay is a wedge issue. Superintendents should not be paid less. Teachers should be paid more.

  6. LayintheSmakDown

    August 29, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    So you admit there are huge fund balances out there. That is certainly a way to make up any gap a locality wants to use it for other than a superintendent slush fund. I am not going to do all your research for you. If you have any curiosity on how correct my statement is feel free to prove me wrong. All I know is most of the counties I have looked at….that is the case. You can take it from there.

  7. LayintheSmakDown

    August 29, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    I hate not letting you guys in on the fun….and it is probably too hard for you to actually get curiosity and do research. just do this google thing to get to this where you can see the average fund balance is approximately 44%….and that is not even the hidden slush funds as we know Moore County has $12 million.



  8. Alan

    August 30, 2013 at 9:00 am

    LSD/Doogie, ‘slush fund’? I thought you were supposed to be a financial expert, according to you? So, if I have a balance in my checking account, does that mean I have a secret slush fund to fund my massive government controlled drug habit?

  9. gregflynn

    August 30, 2013 at 9:23 am

    LayintheSmakDoug, for an alleged CPA you are either incompetent or just think we are stupid. Moore did not have a slush fund of $12 million. It had one account, local current, where the listed expenditures were less than appropriations and designated revenue. That was an average balance of $3 million each year for 4 years. It did not accumulate to $12 million. It had another account, local operations, where listed expenditures exceeded the designated revenue source and the difference was transferred. There is no “slush fund”. That’s a fabrication of the author, repeated ignorantly by you.

    Counties, municipalities and local government bodies are required by good fiscal practice to maintain reserve balances, primarily for cash flow, typically a minimum of 8% to 25%. Moore is mid-range at 14%. It does not accumulate a balance year to year because it directs that the remaining balance be moved from “local current” to “local operations”.

    It states clearly in the chart you linked to that the Moore Schools fund balance at the end of the fiscal year on June 30, 2012 was $3,872,459. (Not $12 million). Some schools systems allow their fund balances to accumulate higher because they are planning on major capital expenditures. Moore clearly operates more hand-to-mouth and uses it year-to-year to help clear a backlog of needs.

  10. LayintheSmakDown

    August 30, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Here is Brunswick County taking on their LOCAL responsibility too, $1,000 for teachers being prioritized locally….guess they hit the slush fund up for that:


  11. gregflynn

    August 30, 2013 at 11:23 am

    Public education is primarily the State’s responsibility, per the NC State Constitution.

  12. Alan

    August 30, 2013 at 3:37 pm


    You’ll have to reword so LayDowntheCrackPipe will understand. It’s ‘governement schools’, not public education.

  13. George Frink

    August 30, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    This handles the school financing issue well: http://www.news-record.com/opinion/n_and_r_editorials/article_f7c0a362-0e8f-11e3-8eb2-0019bb30f31a.html?utm_source=buffer&utm_campaign=Buffer&utm_content=buffer8bb1d&utm_medium=twitter
    This from Associate Professor of Public Law and Government Kara A. Millonzi at the UNC School of Government is more detailed: http://canons.sog.unc.edu/?p=2282 and I recommend it.

  14. Frances Jenkins

    August 30, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    I love it when liberals think they are smarter than God. Not!!

  15. Alan

    August 31, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    Yet another tin-foil hat comment from the right wing extremists, “I love it when liberals think they are smarter than God”. So, what’s the relevance of your comment? Perhaps the head of the state GOP is God???

  16. LayintheSmakDown

    September 2, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    greggy, it is only the state’s responsibility to guard and maintain the right of education….not to fully fund a corrupt system bent on spending every possible dime they can.

  17. LayintheSmakDown

    September 2, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    And if spending >30% of every dollar collected is not guarding and maintaining then there is something broken for sure.

  18. gregflynn

    September 2, 2013 at 7:42 pm


    Sec. 2. Uniform system of schools.
    (1) General and uniform system: term. The General Assembly shall provide by taxation and otherwise for a general and uniform system of free public schools, which shall be maintained at least nine months in every year, and wherein equal opportunities shall be provided for all student

Check Also

Changing hats, but my focus remains on education

Dear NC Policy Watch readers, It’s been a ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

Friends, neighbors, colleagues of commission chairman Jim Womack submit nearly identical letters cla [...]

When N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger addressed reporters last [...]

Big corporations and wealthy executives have been on quite a run. Corporate profits are at historic [...]

This week the ACLU of North Carolina announced an initiative to end cash bail in North Carolina. Reg [...]

There are a lot of important statistics that confirm just how out of whack the U.S. economy has grow [...]

The post Bite the Apple & NC’s HB2 Legacy appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

When I headed off to college, I could not have predicted that many of the funding streams, positions [...]

For those who pay only periodic attention to the ins and outs of lawmaking in the North Carolina Gen [...]

Now hiring

NC Policy Watch is now hiring a Managing Editor – click here for more info.