Budget plans influx for New Hanover school leaders

Reported by Claire Simms - bio|email
Posted by Peter Smelser - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The North Carolina state budget has not yet been finalized, but after a work session Wednesday night New Hanover County school leaders say they won't be able to avoid job cuts.

The New Hanover school system is planning to trim nearly $9 million from its 2009-2010 operating budget, however if state lawmakers change their funding plans, New Hanover schools will have to head back to the drawing board.

"It's very, very difficult because the legislature is making changes probably as we speak, so this is a moving target," said Nick Rhodes, NHC School Board. "We don't know really what the legislature with finally come up with."

The schools will officially eliminate 236 jobs that were frozen this past school year.

They are also considering an additional 30 layoffs and any teachers hired this year will only be guaranteed jobs for two years.

Faculty and staff aren't the only ones with jobs in jeopardy, bus services are facing cuts as well.

Under the current budget plans late pickups from school will be eliminated and students who participate in open enrollment will no longer get transportation.

School board members say this is the best budget the system could come up with.

"I feel good given the context in which we are operating in because we're trying to protect classroom and instructional delivery," said Rhodes.

The school board will vote to adopt this budget on July 7, and will have to amend it later if the state budget changes.

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