Public education advocates say the cuts will most negatively affect the state's smaller, more rural school districts who depend on DPI to provide personnel training and support.
The board's unanimous vote includes $1.6 million in staff cuts:
- 7 full-time positions
- 3 temporary employees
- 8 vacant positions (6 from District and School Transformation, 1 from Educator Effectiveness, 1 from Curriculum and Instruction)
- 19 instructional coaches' contracts will be reduced from 12 months to 10 months
"We already have more work than we can do and the legislature continues to give us more work to do and with fewer employees, it becomes more and more difficult," said Bill Cobey, board chairman. "I am all about efficiency but there are limits."
Affected employees will be notified by August 1.
Mark Jewell, President of NC Association of Educators, said the cuts are unsustainable and will gravely affect the state's poorest children.
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"North Carolina and our constitution guarantees that every child should have equal access to a free public education and our General Assembly is not holding up to that agreement," he said.
Another $865,168 will be cut from DPI's operations which include employee education/professional development, travel, and supplies and materials.
The board still has to identify another $737,000 in reductions for this year. Next year, it faces another round of similar cuts.
Cobey said while the board re-prioritizes and concentrates resources in the neediest school districts, he's preparing to lobby lawmakers when they return for their short session.
"I'm hoping and I certainly will ask them to reverse themselves on those cuts," he said.