State tells schools to freeze spending

RALEIGH Specifically, the order tells them to freeze hiring, travel, promotions and new purchases.

The memo from State Board of Education Chairman Bill Harrison warns the districts that independent auditors will check to make sure the directive is obeyed.

State officials project that the move will save the state about $160 million that can be used to meet payroll and other expenses as the state wallows in red ink.

"We must recognize that without extreme diligence, we will not have the cash available to meet payroll," Harrison wrote.

Governor Perdue has also announced that she's doing more raiding of special funds to pay bills. Last Thursday, she said she was taking $145 million out of funds that help prevent people from smoking, help needy families, buy park land and other services.

That comes on top of previous raids on state lottery money and other funds.

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