34 Teachers Cut As State Continues Underfunding Schools
The Lincoln County school board is being forced to cut 34 teachers and 8 teaching assistants because repeated cuts to education. The General Assembly and Governor McCrory continue to claim they are going to aid schools but the cuts keep coming and teachers are forced out of the state to survive.
“We don’t have the money to keep those positions,” superintendent Sherry Hoyle said. “It was extremely hard. You think of the impact potentially on individuals who will be affected by these cuts. It is a very hard decision to make.”
The cuts include teachers who are retiring or taking jobs outside of education. Some impacted teachers may have opportunities for other employment positions within the school system, Hoyle said.
Individuals impacted by the cuts will be notified within the next couple of weeks.
Todd Wulfhorst, the school board’s finance chairman, said the cuts came as “kind of a surprise” and that he wasn’t expecting a vote on them entering Tuesday’s school board meeting.
Layoffs had been talked about for “two to three years” by school board members and the administration, according to Wulfhorst.
“It was brought up that the well is running dry or is below dry as far as being able to fund these positions, from what I can tell,” Wulfhorst said.
Lincoln County Schools has seen a reduction of $3.7 million in state educational funding since 2008, according to Hoyle. Whereas the school system previously had more spending flexibility, it now faces increased restrictions on how it can use that money, Hoyle said.
LCS has seen a decrease in K-12 enrollment, despite a steady rise in approved residential developments on the eastern end of the county.
“We are surprised,” Hoyle said. “The thing about it is, the allotments we get from the state, they don’t include permits. We’re anticipating a lot of potential growth. The (Department of Public Instruction), when they fund us, they don’t look at that. They look at actual students coming through the door.”