CMS releases teacher lay-off data
by Staff Writer
A report released earlier this month by the N.C. Department of Public Instruction indicates that state public schools have eliminated 16,677.9 positions and laid-off 6,096.7 workers since the economy fell into recession during the 2008-09 school year.
According to the data, 2011-12 saw the most eliminated positions, 6,307.5, and layoffs, 2,418.1, but the state has had to make steady cuts since 2008. Teacher positions make up 35 percent of the overall positions lost, both from eliminating positions and layoffs. Teacher assistants account for 33 percent.
Unlike many districts throughout the state, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools was able to avoid layoffs this year due to an unexpected rise in funding from the county and state. District officials were still forced, however, to eliminate 506 positions, including 79.5 teachers spots.
“When you look at these numbers, it is striking to think of the impact for students,” state superintendent June Atkinson said in a statement. “There are fewer adults in schools, more students in each class in all grades and fewer staff to help students who may struggle or need help with learning. We are not keeping our state’s commitment to students when you look at staffing levels in North Carolina public schools.”
According to the release, education leaders across the state expect to cut even more positions after $400 million in federal “EduJobs” funding expires in June 2012. The funding has saved more than 4,000 jobs for the 2011-12 school year.
Here is the breakdown for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools district:
• 2008-09: 255.9 eliminated positions, including 18.5 teachers; and three lay-offs, none of them teachers.
• 2009-10: 967.3 eliminated positions, including 252.5 teachers and 344 teacher assistants; and 987 lay-offs, including 570 of which were teachers and 222 teacher assistants.
• 2010-11: 815.8 eliminated positions, including 437 teachers and 164 teacher assistants; and 530 lay-offs, including 313 teachers and 102 teacher assistants.
• 2011-12: 506 eliminated positions, including 79.5 teachers, and 225 lay-offs, including 43 teacher assistants, but no teachers.