As you all have probably heard by now, North Carolina is having some budgetary problems and as such Gov. Mike Easley has asked all state departments to reduce spending by 5%. This includes education funding with those cuts passed on to each school system to come up with a way to find the money.
But let's take a look and compare the way some school systems are handling the problem versus others.
One one hand we'll have Del Burns, Superintendent of Wake County Public Schools and other board members playing the part of Chicken Little. According to Wake County school officials, the $5 million spending reduction will apparently be akin to the systematic destruction of the public school system.
employees and take money from the classroom to make up for more than
$11 million in potential state and local funding cuts.
"Services will be impacted," said school board member Patti Head.
"This will impact the classroom. I can't imagine cutting that money out
of a lean budget."
School board member Lori Millberg added that
having to make cuts that large usually means reducing employees who
have already been hired."
Oh, no! The sky is falling, we're going to have to threaten massive layoffs if we don't get our money. (Let's just overlook the fact that the only reason they received the extra funding is they grossly overprojected their enrollment growth). Pure scare tactics plain and simple.
Let's compare this to the reaction of Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Peter Gorman, and equally sized school system on the prospect of finding $5 million in budget savings.
No panic, no mass hysteria, Gorman simply explains:
hiring of non-instructional staff, equipment and vehicle purchases,
non-critical overtime and travel. CMS is also checking to see if any
contracted services can be delayed or reduced."
When asked about layoffs, Gorman simply responded that everything is on the table.
No doom and gloom, no scare tactics to appeal to the public's knee-jerk reaction to cutting education funding.
Just plain simple, put your head down and do what you have to do.
Maybe the Wake County officials should stop whining to the public and do the job they are elected/appointed to do.