Wake Schools' cell phones on cutting block

Phone

August 4, 2010 3:54:26 AM PDT
The Wake County Board of Education is trying to figure out how to make up a nearly $2M shortfall from the state.

The board says there will be more job cuts at the top in order to make more money available for classrooms.

In addition to those cuts, the board is reviewing the school system's cell phone usage. Currently, Wake pays nearly $900,000 a year for service.

School leaders say they could cut that bill in half by switching to another carrier that has a stronger signal. Board members are combing through a list that shows which employees have taxpayer provided cell phones and those users really need a phone.

Millbrook Elementary Principal Paula Trantham says she needs her phone.

"With a school of almost 800 students any day, anything could happen," Trantham said. "And as a leader of the school, I need to make sure I'm aware of all those things that are happening."

Tuesday public school managers said they will request a reduction in transportation staff at next week's board meeting.

Business Manager David Neter said cuts are necessary because the final state budget reduces the local transportation budget by $1.18 million.

Neter declined to say if the reduction would mean drivers or support staff could be laid off, but he said the reduction shouldn't disrupt service to students.

The board is expected to vote on a final budget next week.

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