“In Lenoir County, we have already cut to the bare bones. If there are any more cuts next year, we’re not going to have a school.”
Those are the words of Lenoir County NCAE President Kathy Canuette at last week’s Democrat Budget tour stop in Kinston.
How bad are things in Lenoir County? A DPI spreadsheet which reports eliminated and reduction-in-force positions by LEA from 2008-2011 shows for the 2011-12 academic year Lenoir County had to eliminate 12 positions and lay off 10 staff through reduction-in-force plans — including 6 classroom teachers. First let’s say I’m sympathetic towards those who have lost their jobs. It’ can be a very stressful situation for individuals and families alike. Still, let’s focus on the big picture. According to data on the DPI web site, in 2010-11 Lenoir County Schools had approximately 1,101 staff. That means the 2011-12 lay offs amount to a staff reduction of .009 percent.
What is interesting is that for the years 2008, 2009 and 2010, Lenoir County eliminated 221 positions and laid off 29 staff, including 16 teachers. In 2009-10 academic year alone, Lenoir County Schools eliminated 137 positions and laid off 6 staff through reduction-in-force actions. Considering the size and scope of the reductions compared to the current year reductions, it’s hard to account for the relative silence from education staff and the NCAE.
By the way, as most of you know Democrats controlled the House, the Senate and the Governor’s office for all of 2008, 2009 and 2010. Just thought I’d mention that.