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Tracking the Cuts: The Dismantling of Our Public Schools

trackingCuts-web-600This week brings news of a bright spot (depending on how you look at it?) amid all of the local education budget cuts we’ve been reporting: Brunswick County educators will receive one-time, $1,000 bonuses to offset state budget cuts.

The AP reports that the Brunswick County Board of Education approved an increase in employee salary supplements and the one-time bonus during a board retreat last week. School officials say the bonuses will be paid in November.

Brunswick’s Finance Officer Freyja Cahill says the supplement schedule is competitive and will be used as a recruiting tool and to help prevent employees from leaving.

Brunswick County had to eliminate 19 teacher assistant positions this year and deal with cuts to instructional supplies.

Check out our growing list of school districts that have been forced to make difficult cuts for the 2013-14 school year. Read More

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trackingCuts-web-600Travis Reeves, superintendent for Surry County Schools, told NC Policy Watch that he had to eliminate 10.5 teacher assistant positions and 13 teaching positions this year through attrition.

Reeves said that the class size increases are also taking a big toll on teachers.

Surry County has been able to use some local and carryover funds to mitigate the cut to instructional supplies, but “we are extremely frugal at this point,” said Reeves.

During the past five years, Surry County has had to eliminate more than 100 instructional positions thanks to budget cuts.

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

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trackingCuts-web-600The final budget numbers for Gaston County Schools are in – and 31 teacher assistants have lost their jobs.

School officials were able to save 19 other jobs that were on the chopping block – those TAs were moved into other teacher assistant jobs thanks to federal money earmarked for disadvantaged schools.

There is a possibility that seven of the 31 teacher assistant positions will be rehired at the start of the school year, but that remains unclear.

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

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trackingCuts-web-600Franklin County Schools Assistant Superintendent for Business and Finance, Doug Moore, told NC Policy Watch that 2013 is not the first year they’ve had to cut teacher assistant positions.

“Really this has been going on for the past five years or so,” said Moore. “Over that time we’ve had to cut around 23 teacher assistant positions through attrition.”

Moore said that Franklin County will also have to make cuts to instructional supplies –again, a trend over the past five years or so—and other areas, but they are still working through identifying where they’ll have to make the cuts.

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

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trackingCuts-web-600Lenoir’s The News-Topic reports that Caldwell County Schools will lose 75 positions this fall.

Forty-three teachers, 30 teacher assistants, and two instructional support positions will be cut thanks to the 2013-15 state budget.

Caldwell County superintendent Steve Stone said there will be no layoffs. The district will instead freeze hiring and leave positions vacant as staff members resign or retire. In the interim, the board will dip into its fund balance to pay those teachers, teacher assistants and instructional support staffers.

Other cuts also will impact schools this year. 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.

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