Wake to cut custodians, reduce TA hours

July 12, 2011 6:58:46 PM PDT
The Wake County school system says it needs to cut dozens of custodial jobs and reduce teacher assistants' hours to help save money.

For teaching assistants, their regular 10-month long workload will be reduced to 9.25 months.

"We're going to be asking them to work fewer days," said David Neter, chief business officer of Wake County Schools. "They won't be in place when the children are not in place at the schools, and they'll still be considered full-time employees and still retain full benefits."

Board member Debra Goldman struggled with the decision to make cuts.

"I want to really support the request and the recommendation here, but I am really, really struggling with this because this is such a valuable group of people," she said.

"Is there a way that we could look at an amendment to limit it to one year and then revisit it instead of making it permanent?" board member Kevin Hill asked.

And that's exactly what the school board decided to do.

The cuts will be in a place for one year and then the board will review its option again. Neter says the move will save the system $2.4 a year.

In an earlier school board work session Tuesday, Neter said the board will need to cut 70 custodial positions to help save millions of dollars.

"Well, I think it's really sad they're making the lowest paid employees, which are custodians and teachers assistants, bear the brunt of the budget reductions and I haven't heard anything about the upper management taking any kind of pay reduction," parent Vickie Adamson pointed out.

Board Chair Ron Margiotta says the decision is tough.

"I mean, that's a tough one," he said. "These are people that, you know, it's difficult for them to go out and find employment. We're in a tough economy."

The school board also is thinking about charging students a $45 fee to take drivers' education in an effort to help reduce the budget.

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