Pender County schools to lose many teachers - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Pender County schools to lose many teachers

Reported by Laura Sinacori - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

PENDER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - 80 people, mainly teachers, could lose their jobs before the next school year in Pender County as school leaders face drastic budget cuts totaling millions of dollars.

School Board Chair Tom Roper was straight forward with his feelings during Monday night's school board meeting.  He said education in Pender County will suffer because of the budget crunch.

Parents voiced their concerns during the meeting - they want to make sure their children don't suffer because of school budget cuts.

Terryl Simpson is the mother of two Pender County school children who said she is mostly concerned about the number of teachers losing their jobs.

"Look at the economy people are out on the streets looking for jobs with masters, and phds right now, and so when we try to make our children competitive for the future it's definitely going to hurt them," said Simpson.

"There's no doubt that the quality of education in Pender County is going to be compromised," said Roper. "We are running a very lean organization currently. We don't have a lot of extra bodies to just fill positions so every one of these are in situations we need."

Roper is referring to the 80 possible jobs that may be eliminated - including 33 teaching positions, 25 teacher assistants, 18 low wealth positions, and 4 non-instructional positions.

Operational cuts will have to be made as well, including cutting more than 500 miles per day from current bus routes - meaning more parents will have to drive their children to bus stops or to school.

"It's gonna be a problem and with the bus schedule cut backs you're going to have more cars in the road," said parent Stacey Cole.  "It's just going to be harder and harder to get your kids on time."

Pender County principals will meet Tuesday with teachers and staff who could be affected by the cuts to help them find new careers.

The board is still waiting for the state budget to be approved to learn exactly how deep the cuts will have to go. 

School board members are urging residents to write local and state leaders to voice concerns over how these moves will affect students.

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