School employees concerned about budget cuts

WAKE COUNTY School leaders say they will do what they can to prevent layoffs, even though the biggest chunk of the school system's budget is payroll.

Some bus drivers tell Eyewitness News they feel no job is safe in this economy, especially when the school system has to cut $11 million out of its budget.

"Of course there is some concern," parent Barbara McNeill said. "I want teachers to get paid. I know things need to get done but I even wonder sometimes about gas, do we need to be using the gas that we're using. Sometimes they go to school half a day, across the county on early release days and is that really effective use of our money."

School board member Lori Millberg admits it will be tough.

"We will dig really deeply to identify items that we think we can live without and that will not impact children," Wake County School Board member Lori Millberg said.

Commissioners gave the school system millions less than what it asked for to begin with --cutting money for better science classes, more foreign language classes and gang prevention programs.

Millberg says they will now consider delaying maintenance projects and consider a hiring freeze before letting anyone go.

"I really don't see layoffs as being a possibility that would certainly be the last thing we turn to," Millberg said.

Wake didn't get as many students as they were expecting so they are ready to return the $3 million they would have spent on teachers for those students.

They will figure out how to cut the other $8 million within next two weeks.

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