Wake teachers still waiting

September 16, 2009 4:52:23 AM PDT
Hundreds of Wake County teachers hoping to be re-hired with federal stimulus money have to wait. Millions of stimulus dollars are helping Wake County schools get by in the recession, but that money comes with some important strings attached.

Wake County school leaders said $47 million in federal stimulus funds will be spread over the next two years. The funds will primarily help title one schools and special education programs.

"We are using them to save some jobs," Lori Millberg with the WCPSS Board said. "It's still a scary thing, however, we use them knowing there are jobs for only two years and then they're gone."

After slashing jobs this summer, school leaders said stimulus money has helped to save some jobs and create others -about 180 teaching positions and 280 in support staff.

Nearly a hundred teacher assistants, many new hires, are already on the job.

It's unclear how many are among the hundreds of teachers and support staff who were laid off.

The school system says it will soon post new positions, but, it won't say how many.

However, school leaders warn stimulus dollars must be spent according to federal guidelines and with an eye on the future.

"We don't want to find ourselves as a system in a position where we've dug a hole and we don't have the funds to get out of that hole," WCPSS Superintendent Del Burns said. "But at the same time to help kids to the extent we can to support teachers as well."

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