Durham Schools, commissioners try to save jobs

May 25, 2010 3:18:05 PM PDT
The Durham County Board of Education and Durham County Commissioners are trying to figure out how to make up a $7 million shortfall.

School leaders say they need the county to kick in the money in order save 126 teaching jobs.

The board and commissioners met Tuesday morning and now they plan to put pressure on the state.

Monday night Durham County Manager Mike Ruffin proposed a budget to commissioners that included a more than $6 million increase for the school system. That budget would save 111 of 237 teaching positions that were originally on the chopping block.

However, that proposal includes a 6 percent property tax increase.

County Commissioner Becky Herron says the state needs to make up the difference.

"They can raise income tax," Herron said. "Income tax isn't going to hurt the poor guy."

The public will be allowed to voice its opinions and concerns at a hearing on June 16. County commissioners are expected to vote at the end of June.

Board members and commissioners say they will begin lobbying state lawmakers to get the $6.9 million needed to avoid positions.

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