CMS teachers getting layoff warnings ...
Posted in the Washington DC Forum
#1 Jun 20, 2012
CMS teachers getting layoff warnings ...
CHARLOTTE, N.C.-- About 500 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools teachers will get preliminary layoff notices Wednesday, hours after the school board voted 6-3 to approve a 2010-11 budget that braces for big cuts.
The board voted to ask the county for a $15.5 million boost while planning for a cut of up to $20.7 million. With state cuts, the total could come to $78 million.
The board made only small changes to the $1 billion-plus budget that has been discussed for weeks. They voted 7-2 to eliminate CMS-TV, with about $350,000 going to save about seven teacher jobs.
To avoid forcing three popular magnet schools into later hours, the board instead decided to save $1.3 million by making students pick up the fees for Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams.
Superintendent Peter Gorman and board members say the $332.8 million request, up from this year’s $317.4 million, is what the district needs to hold steady as costs and enrollment rise. They also realize the county doesn’t have that kind of money without making dire cuts to other vital services.
“The county commission’s going to send it back to us. We understand that,” board member Joe White said.
That’s why the plan includes five alternative scenarios eliminating up to $78 million in county and state money, with options that include laying off hundreds of employees. The board had earlier cleared Gorman to cut about 600 teachers, but Chief Operating Officer Hugh Hattabaugh said before Tuesday’s meeting that the numbers “look a little better than we anticipated.”
He said 170 teachers will lose their jobs because of low job ratings and/or lack of proper licenses. Another 20 in that category would have gotten layoff notices but have already resigned, he said.
Also getting preliminary notices are 240 teachers who are working on short-term contracts and 99 whose skills don’t match any available jobs. The 99 could still be placed if jobs open up. Layoffs are not final until a board vote, scheduled for June.
The number of teacher jobs eliminated by retirements has not been tallied, Hattabaugh said.
Cutting teachers will mean bigger classes, with high schools losing some of their specialized offerings that draw low enrollment.
Most members said Gorman did a good job of shaping a bleak budget to protect kids and classrooms as much as possible.
“I deeply regret the pain this has caused,” board Chair Eric Davis said, speaking to employees who will lose jobs. But he urged everyone to “commit ourselves anew to our students’ future.”
Board members Kaye McGarry, Richard McElrath and Joyce Waddell voted against the budget. They were on the losing end of votes to try to force Gorman to revamp his shakeup of administrative offices, with up to $3.6 million redirected to save teacher jobs.
McElrath and Waddell argued that grouping CMS’s highest-poverty schools under two “central” offices stigmatizes and segregates those schools. But other members said it’s student assignment, not administrative arrangements, that concentrate low-income and minority students in some schools.
McGarry said CMS remains “top-heavy.”
A much-protested plan to revoke neighborhood bus stops for 11 magnet schools survived Tuesday’s vote, leaving families worrying about losing students whose parents can’t get them to shuttle stops that may not be within walking distance of their homes.
“What will you do to protect access to these schools?” asked Odette Valder, a Northwest School of the Arts parent.
Three of those magnets – Smith Language Academy, Piedmont and Davidson IB middle schools – got a reprieve from proposed changes in their hours. Pushing their schedules later in the day would have let CMS tack their bus runs onto buses serving other schools, saving about $1 million.
#2 Jul 8, 2012
The liberals hard at work, Thank you O-BUM-A
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