Schools will not make more cuts

August 20, 2009 3:08:33 AM PDT
On Wednesday, Wake County learned the school system will not have to trim its budget by another 5 percent.The Gov. Bev Perdue's newest executive order calls for all state agencies to do so, but there was some confusion about whether that would apply to school systems.

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"The revenue picture is not getting any better fast," Wake Schools Superintendent Dr. Del Burns said. said."We have a $35 million reduction in funding from the Wake County school system from the state for this year."

The uncertainty centered around the way the executive order was worded. School leaders were told by the governor's office that the cuts didn't apply to them, but they wanted that in writing.

"There is language in the executive order that states some areas may be exempt and direct classroom instruction is addressed," Burns explained.

On Monday, school leaders asked the governor's office and the NC Department of Public Instruction for clarification.

They were told not to worry, that K-12 education is exempt from the order, but the verbal reassurance wasn't good enough.

"We want to be absolutely sure that we understand the intent as well as the letter of executive orders in the law," said Michael Evans with Wake County Schools. "So when there's questions, it's incumbent upon us to ask."

By Wednesday afternoon, they got their answer in writing.

"It would have been a tremendous hardship to cut another $40 million out of a budget that's already been hit twice in the last eight months," Evans said.

Those cuts have already equated to big sacrifices including increased class sizes, fewer electives in secondary schools and a reduction in services.

Over 40,000 students have already begun the school year in Wake County. Next week, another 100,000 students will be added to the mix.


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