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K-12 Leaders Raise Concerns About Budget's Impact On Students, Jobs & Local Economy
Dr. Barry Williams Superintendent of Gates County Schools, has released critical information executed by the NCSSA Executive Board concerning the press release regarding the Senate's proposed education budget. The Executive Board has communicated how the impact of this budget can and will affect our school system.
RALEIGH, NC -School Administrators are pleased to see the N.C. Senate, the N.C. House and Gov. McCrory unified around education leaders’ priority of addressing both short- and long-term needs related to teacher salaries. They believe that working together is the best way forward for the state of North Carolina.
School administrators also believe that the budget released by the N.C. Senate includes devastating cuts that will harm the learning experience for public school students across the state. K-12 leaders also say the cuts could lead to the loss of 10,000 or more school jobs and will negatively impact local county budgets and taxpayers.
"Adequate compensation to attract and retain the best and brightest teachers for North Carolina classrooms is the top priority of school administrators, but the Senate's proposal for funding teacher pay increases by taking away other resources, programs and personnel our students need and deserve is extremely disappointing," said Katherine Joyce, Executive Director of the North Carolina Association of School Administrators (NCASA). "Our hope is that the Senate ultimately will work with the House and the Governor on a final budget package that reflects a more reasonable approach to increasing teacher compensation, such as the plan outlined a few weeks ago by Governor McCrory."
Proposed cuts to teacher assistants and teachers in Grades 2 and 3 hinder progress on the important goal of ensuring all third graders are reading proficient, as called for under recent law changes. Students also will have fewer school nurses, longer bus routes due to cuts in bus driver support, and inadequate funding of $15 each for textbooks and related resources.
Students also will lose needed personnel support of up to 10,000 or more individuals across the state, including the following job losses that are based on preliminary estimates of the budget's impact: 7,400 teacher assistants, 1,000 transportation employees, and 1,000 central office employees, as well as precluding the hiring of 788 additional early-grade teachers as class sizes increase in Grades 2 and 3.
The budget proposal calls for $333 million in cuts that will negatively impact students and public school operations unless local counties and taxpayers provide increased support to cover lost state funding. As the proposal now heads to the N.C. House, school leaders believe it is critical for all lawmakers and state leaders to strike the right balance to provide needed pay increases to educators this year without detrimental cuts to student support.
Dr. Mark Edwards, the President-Elect of the N.C. School Superintendents' Association (NCSSA), issued the following call to action:
"Superintendents are ready to roll up our sleeves and work with the Governor, the House and the Senate to develop a much-needed plan to improve teacher compensation without cutting into the personnel and other resources that our students across the state need," said Edwards, Superintendent of the Mooresville Graded Schools. "We invite state leaders to join us in a work session in the next few weeks to come up with the right approach to ensure we can continue to move our schools and our students to the next level."
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Gates County Public Schools
P. O. Box 125
205 Main Street
Gatesville, NC 27938
Phone: (252) 357-1113
Fax: (252) 357-0207
State Superintendent June Atkinson honored ten school districts for having the higher four-year cohort graduation rates among all districts in the state in 2012-2013.