Schools Still Face Large Cut
The Moore County school system is bracing for cuts in state funding as this year's arduous budgeting process comes to an end in Raleigh.
Superintendent Susan Purser said Wednesday that preliminary estimates provided to the district from the state Department of Public Instruction suggest that Moore County schools could be facing almost $2 million in reductions.
While the figure of $1,885,605 that has been floated is significantly less than the $5 million in cuts that the system anticipated, Purser said it will still have an impact on personnel. She also cautioned that the economy could also impact next year's budget.
"We're not out of the woods yet," she said.
Purser said that number could change, but fully expected it to remain in the millions.
Gov. Beverly Perdue was expected to sign the budget into law today, though she wasn't completely satisfied with the document. The budget approved by the legislature is friendlier to education than what was originally proposed, but still contains significant cuts.
The budget mandates that local school districts protect class sizes in kindergarten through third grade, which cannot exceed 24 students. School districts are granted leeway about how cuts are made elsewhere -- grades 4 through 12.
Even though the estimated reduction for Moore County is less than what was expected, Purser said it is still too early to know if any teaching positions could be reinstated. In early June, the school system said it would cut 5 percent of its work force, including 90 teaching positions, in response to the legislature's budget proposals. It is also maintaining a soft hiring freeze.
For more on this story, see Friday's print edition of The Pilot.
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