Public school superintendents were out in force yesterday fighting against the proposed budget cuts in the state budget See: article). A couple of facts you aren’t likely to hear in this debate.
First, while it is true state appropriations for the public schools were reduced by about $840 million, NC public schools also received about $944 million in stimulus money from the Federal government. That money is only available through the end of the next year.
Second, according to Full-Time Personnel Reports available from DPI, even though the number of public school teachers in North Carolina actually declined last year by about 3,700, amazingly the number of instructional support staff actually increased from 14,550 to 14,595. (See 2009 and 2010 Full-Time Personnel Reports). So much for the draconian cuts.
Teachers need to be kept in the classroom. Doing so requires schools to make additional reductions to administrative and, instructional support staff. Regrettably, it looks like most public school leaders are unwilling to examine that option.