Friday, June 10, 2011

CMS: Who's saved, who's not

Even before Superintendent Peter Gorman dropped his bombshell, Wednesday's special school board meeting had reporters in turmoil, trying to figure out exactly what the "no layoffs" announcement meant. Normally the public relations staff would have been all over that, but the news that the boss is leaving does tend to divert time and energy.

Plenty of people have been trying to parse out exactly what the county's extra $26 million means for schools. Here's an explanation sent this afternoon. -- Ann Doss Helms
                                                                                      MEDIA RELEASE

County funding will avoid some layoffs at CMS, but not all

            CHARLOTTE, N.C., June 10, 2011 – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will be able to keep 570 educators, including 406 classroom teachers, because of an additional $26 million in county funding. However, district officials cautioned that layoffs may still be needed, depending on the final state budget.

The $26 million will be applied to three items in Tier 4 of the district’s proposed budget, which included about $101 million in proposed cuts. The items included teachers related to weighted student staffing, class size and instructional support staff in schools. By design, the fourth tier includes the reductions most likely to affect student achievement. District leadership told the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners during budget talks in June that any additional funding would be applied to Tier 4, starting at the bottom of the tier and working up.

“We will use the $26 million just as we told the county that we would,” said Chief Operating Officer Hugh Hattabaugh. “The $26 million will mean we don’t have to increase class sizes and we don’t have to change our weighted-student staffing formula. Together those two items add up to $24 million – and we’ll apply the remaining $2 million to the next item in the tier, which is support staff in schools.”

The remaining items in Tier 4 that the county money did not cover are a reduction of 328 teacher assistants and a reduction in the number of Bright Beginnings classes offered by CMS.

“We do not know whether we will have to make the additional reductions in Tier 4 yet,” Hattabaugh said. “It will depend on the state funding and we won’t know that until the state budget is final.”

District officials expect to have final state numbers by the end of June. The state budget appears likely to be resolved sooner than it has been in earlier years, so CMS could have those numbers earlier than usual.

The district’s proposed budget included eliminating 1,687 positions. The county funding has allowed the district to preserve 406 teacher positions and some support staff. If funding allows the district to keep its current number of Bright Beginnings pre-kindergarten classes with associated staffing and the 328 teacher assistants scheduled for reduction in Tier 4, that would bring the number of positions cut to about 600, Hattabaugh said. Final numbers won’t be available until the state funding is certain, which will be later in the summer.

The district has decided to close the pre-kindergarten centers where Bright Beginnings has been offered. If Bright Beginnings is not cut, then the classes will move to other district schools, he said. Teachers will not lose their jobs if that occurs, but other school staff may.

“While we’re relieved not to have to cut more teachers, we’ve still had to cut hundreds of positions from the budget,” Hattabaugh said. “We have had a reduction in force for the past three years and that has meant some very effective district employees have lost their jobs.”



therestofthestory said...

Interesting concept, cutting teachers while the budget goes up and then whine about it when your budget should have been cut becuase many of your classroom expenditures are not producing results proportionally.

You have no idea if $10k per pupil expenditure gives you twice the results that spending $5k per pupil does.

part-time teacher said...

Just another example of the specialized treatment teachers receive at the expense of others.

Anonymous said...

"Who's saved, who's not"

Such a perfect headline for church-going Charlotte, N.C.

Anonymous said...

what gets me is what about the great MR PETER GORMAN?this hole school system is a hot mess.what are they gonna do with the kids?can you believe this is happening?first went prayer now the schools has been kicked under the bus,at the end of the day we may as well be in the libary sitting on the floor.but some
of them are closing to.

Wiley Coyote said...

Why CMS is even considering keeping ANY Bright Beginnings classrooms is ridiculous.

Cut it loose, wave goodbye at it and move on.

Anonymous said...

It is so interesting that the whole theme is "No Child Left Behind". However every decision they make in the end the children are the ones that are hurt! Can someone please say AUDIT! CMS needs to be AUDITED.

Anonymous said...

So glad we decided to live in Union County!!! We don't do this to our teachers or students. CMS (Can't Manage Schools) makes this an on going news story. Sad state affairs.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it interesting that some posters just put a few select words in ALL CAPS...almost like it's the same poster, attacking CMS over and over. If you have to use ALL CAPS in a post to try to make your point, you are a hysterical nut case fanatic. Trying to say that cutting the budget and cutting any teacher is a "step back" is teacher union crap. People, this is the way business works...we spent outrageously when NC was a boom state, but we aren't booming anymore. All that wild, reckless spending in the 2000s now translates into cuts. The GOP aren't draconian...they aren't heartless. They are realistic. The time when the professional unions (employee, legal, real estate, teachers, etc.) basically have run the legislature in exchange for votes is over. The general public has finally caught on. The vote-in-exchange-for-my-job-and-pay-increase-and-wonderful-pension game has gotten very, very old. But Gov. Perdue has built her career on paying people and groups off with government money.

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