Tracking the Cuts: The Dismantling of Our Public Schools

Hickory Public Schools makes long list of cuts thanks to state budget

Hickory Public Schools has had to make a long list of cuts thanks to the 2013-15 education budget passed by state lawmakers.

HPS officials reported the following list of cuts to NC Policy Watch:

  • Eliminated 12 teacher assistant positions
  • Eliminated 2 administrative services clerical positions
  • Froze 1 vacant position in the technology department
  • Eliminated 1 school clerical position
  • Reduced months of employment for grounds keeper maintenance position
  • Eliminated 2 data manager positions, Southwest and Longview to share position and Oakwood and HCAM to share position
  • Teacher assistants to work student instructional days only
  • Eliminated one-half social worker position at HCAM
  • Eliminated 1.5 ESL positions
  • Eliminated 0.5 ESL interpreter position
  • Eliminated administrative curriculum coach at HCAM
  • Eliminated part-time administrative services curriculum coach
  • Reduced instructional supply allotments

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

13 Comments

  1. thepaulatics

    September 6, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    Beginning with an assertion that protestors and newspaper writers are wrong about the facts around the education budget, McCrory said that “at $7.8 billion, this is the largest K-12 budget in North Carolina’s history.” – See more at: http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2013/08/01/mccrory-claims-nc-education-budget-largest-in-history/#sthash.l5ENQCyo.dpuf – Maybe the Gov didn’t read the budget, either.

  2. wncgirl

    September 6, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    are we even sure he CAN read the budget?

  3. LayintheSmakDown

    September 6, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    This post does not make sense…or actaully the actions of the school board. They have $4.2 million sitting there in a slush fund which is 67% of the overall expenditures by the schools. Guess that does not make headlines or promote their story line of being “decimated” and “dismantled”.

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CDEQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ncacc.org%2FDocumentCenter%2FView%2F319&ei=njMqUoe2K_Dk4AP4y4DoDg&usg=AFQjCNEx4pkKXoGpHjNF4N4GfrcQtUdeYw&sig2=rpu4cmBLl7aiJJDrMr3zZA

  4. LayintheSmakDown

    September 6, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    Also, thinking on it a few minutes these “cuts” look to be fairly well thought out at least. The schools are becoming more efficient and hopefully using the taxpayer dollars in a better way due to these choices. At least they are far from “devastating” or “dismantling”.

  5. david esmay

    September 6, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    Really LSD? When was the last time these schools bought new text books?

  6. david esmay

    September 6, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    Also, thinking about for a few minutes, 4.2 million ain’t sh**.

  7. George Greene

    September 6, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    I’m not in favor of Hickory Public Schools EVEN EXISTING. Catawba county is JUST NOT THAT huge.
    If Mecklenburg and Wake can have unified school systems then surely every other county in the state can as well. Rubes waxing defensive about their own little backyard/turf is one of the ugliest things about politics in all of American culture.

  8. gregflynn

    September 6, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    For an alleged CPA you don’t know much about local government accounting LayintheSmakDoug. Reserve balance is the local government equivalent of liquidity and the budget has to balance at the end of the year. Fund balance is typically appropriated in the next year’s budget as stated in the General Statutes:

    § 159-8. Annual balanced budget ordinance.
    (a) Each local government and public authority shall operate under an annual balanced budget ordinance adopted and administered in accordance with this Article. A budget ordinance is balanced when the sum of estimated net revenues and appropriated fund balances is equal to appropriations.

    In rough terms a fund balance consists of reserved fund balance and unreserved fund balance which may be designated or undesignated. The terminology changed in 2010 according to the Governmental Accounting Standards Board.

    Governmental Accounting Standards Board
    Summary of Statement No. 54
    Fund Balance Reporting and Governmental Fund Type Definitions
    (Issued 02/09)
    http://www.gasb.org/st/summary/gstsm54.html

    Fund Balance, New and Improved
    Stephen J. Gauthier
    Director of Technical Services Center, Government Finance Officers Association
    http://www.gfoa.org/downloads/NewFundBal_GFR_apr_09.pdf

    The NC Treasurer’s Office issues further guidance to NC local government entities on accounting standards. In 2011 the Hickory fund balance was also skewed by the unexpected influx of about $1.6 million in ARRA money. The Hickory Schools Financial Report for the year ended June 30, 2011 gave the following explanation of categories in the Fund Balance:

    Fund Balances
    In the governmental fund financial statements, fund balance is composed of three classifications designed to disclose the hierarchy of constraints placed on how fund balance can be spent.

    The governmental fund types classify fund balances as follows:
    Restricted fund balance – This classification includes amounts that are restricted to specific purposes externally imposed by creditors or imposed by law.
    Restricted for Stabilization by State statute – portion of fund balance that is restricted by State Statute [G.S. 115C-425(a)].
    Restricted for capital outlay – portion of fund balance that can only be used for school capital outlay. [G.S. 159-18 through 22]
    Restricted for Individual Schools – revenue sources restricted for expenditures for the various clubs and organizations, athletic events, and various fund raising activities for which they were collected.
    Assigned fund balance – portion of fund balance that the Board of Education intends to use for specific purposes.
    Subsequent year’s expenditures – portion of fund balance that is appropriated in next year’s budget that is not already classified in restricted. The Board of Education approves the appropriation.
    Special revenues – portion of fund balance that represents the residual amount of revenues from certain grants, reimbursements, indirect costs and other financial resources in excess of related expenditures that the Board of Education has assigned to be expended for educational services.
    This amount can be expended on instructional services, system-wide support services, ancillary services or non-programmed charges.
    Unassigned fund balance – the portion of fund balance that has not been restricted, committed, or assigned to specific purposes or other funds.

    The Board of Education has a management policy for revenue spending that provides guidance for programs with multiple revenue sources. The Finance Officer will use resources in the following hierarchy: bond proceeds, federal funds, State funds, local non-board of education funds, and lastly board of education funds. For purposes of fund balance classification, expenditures are to be spent from restricted fund balance first, followed in-order by committed fund balance, assigned fund balance and lastly unassigned fund balance. The Finance Officer has the authority to deviate from this policy if it is in the best interest of the Board of Education.

    There is no “slush fund”. It’s an accounting technique to ensure that local government entities can pay their bills. It’s not too much different from the minimum liquidity general contractors are required to have (treated as assets minus liabilities) once a year to maintain their license categories. Some entities choose to create a separate contingency or “rainy day” fund for emergencies. For example Wake county has depleted its contingency fund to plug revenue holes but has no contingency for next year even though it maintains a substantial fund balance.

  9. Alan

    September 7, 2013 at 8:29 am

    If LayDownTheCrackPipe simply keeps repeating his “slush fund” comment, then perhaps one day it may become true?

  10. Vickie

    September 8, 2013 at 2:19 am

    Efficient? People losing their jobs? I don’t think I would quite put it that way. Tragic is more the word. Maybe merciless is even better. I am not referring to the school system. I am referring to the state and their cuts. I grew up in that area and I pray that these people are able to find other jobs. Come on 2014–praying that the good people in Catawba County vote the right way this time.

  11. david esmay

    September 8, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    LSD isn’t a CPA, he’s an intern/paid troll for Civitas, who, when he isn’t rolling NC Policy watch, is sitting in his mom’s basement watching internet porn.

  12. Alan

    September 9, 2013 at 9:25 am

    Who does #2 work for?

    Who does #2 work for?

    The interns may not get this one…..

  13. LayintheSmakDown

    September 9, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    greggy,
    those funds are just as availabie to any use they deem them to be above the law. You cannot tell me that 67% of the expenditures is all encumbered….maybe you need to do the additional research on the actual situation rather than spouting GASB. You know, prove me wrong rather than put up a straw man. My point is, not all of the funds are encumbered and they are crying poverty where there is none.

    And George Greene has a HUGE point. All these schools should have merged to one per county….this is a gigantic waste of funds duplicating services, administrators, and other functions in two systems. If they are rich enough to have their own system…they are rich enough to raise their taxes if they really think they need this list of things in the post.