Cumberland County NCAE braces for school budget battle

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Four Cumberland County NCAE members gathered inside a room at the organization headquarters. They went line by line reading through the budget proposed by the county for the upcoming fiscal year. A big talker was what's at stake this time around.

"Last year, fines were not appropriate for summer school. We had teachers working without pay because it had to get done," said CCS staffer Patricia Utley.

The educators told ABC11 that they adjust and wear multiple hats regularly at the hands of both state lawmakers and county commissioners.

The county manager recommended a budget of $80 million, which is the same as the current fiscal year. The district is requesting $8.9 million more to hire nurses, counselors and other staffers.

" Some of this money can go and help me maintain my sanity. More people can come in and that'll make the burden lighter for all of us," said retired CCS teacher Pat Randell.

The school board president told ABC11 that if the money requested isn't granted, something will suffer. Educators remain hopeful as county commissioners prepare to vote on funding the district for the upcoming school year.

"There's only a finite amount of money, and we have to operate within our budget. We can't operate on a deficit," said County Chair Jeannette Council.
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