Wake Schools announces final cuts, assignment changes

August 15, 2011 9:00:00 PM PDT
The Wake County Public School System, the state's largest school district, announced Tuesday it's cutting jobs while parents are digesting student assignment changes.

School board members decided there was no choice but to slash 39 custodial jobs in an effort to trim an overall $8M from the budget. The school system also will cut hours for 26 positions, leaving some employees scrambling to find a different, or possibly second job, to help supplement their income.

Thirty-two vacant positions will also be eliminated.

The janitor cuts are expected to save almost $2.5M.

In addition to the employee cuts, Superintendent Tony Tata gave more details on a new reassignment plan in the works. It would allow parents to chose schools based on where they live.

Click here to read the details of each plan on the WCPSS website.

"This proposal affords every student multiple high quality choices," Tata said.

He says the school systems needs more streamlined feeder patterns, strategic plans for schools at max or below capacity, and magnet schools that can handle the changes.

"When you look at the students that do not have seats available in their magnet school, in their school, their most proximate school, where you move them and why you move them there becomes the key issue," Tata added.

School board members say the new assignment plan has some challenges.

"Over the last 20 years, this district didn't always build schools where the people lived, so now that we're moving to a model that lets children go to school where they live, there's going to be capacity problems and we have to balance that out," Tata continued.

Board member Chris Malone says the plan will need reviewing.

"Well, I want to see how some of the feeder patterns go," Malone said. "I think they need to be reviewed."

Board members say more work sessions will help them work out some of the tougher details.

The board also voted to sell about 80 acres of land originally purchased for a school off of Forestville Road in Knightdale.

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