The $20 million in new potential cuts proposed last week by Wake County school administrators got a pretty negative reaction from speakers at Tuesday's school board meeting.
As noted in today's article, several speakers complained about the reduction in the number of media specialists and in the 30 percent cut in extra-duty pay. Board members and staff repeatedly stressed that the new round of cuts hasn't been approved yet.
But the board might run out of options, especially if state funding is cut by 5 percent.
The $20 million in cuts were proposed in case the state cut is 3 percent.
The possible $2.9 million cut for media specialists would leave each elementary and middle school with one person and each high school with two people. Speakers on Tuesday said this would lead to the elimination of 40 positions.
Administrators have said that displaced media specialists could likely get other teaching jobs in the district, provided the state cuts is 3 percent.
Several media specialists argued they perform a valuable duty teaching classes in the media center.
"The thought of losing one librarian while serving 2,500 students is devastating," said Kerri Brown Parker, a media specialist at Millbrook High. "We might save money but it will come at a great cost."
Dwight Harrell, the athletic director of Garner High, said it's "ludicrous" to cut extra-duty pay by 30 percent. He said the pay scales haven't changed since 1987.
Extra-duty pay covers a wide range of positions, such as athletic coaches, band directors, band directors, department chairs and yearbook advisors.
Administrators said they had proposed extra-duty pay because it's not the primary income for teachers. They said they had proposed this $2.2 million cut as being a better option than laying off people.
Several school board members said they're not happy with this new list of possible cuts, which call for schools to absorb $16 million of the $20 million reduction.
"These are terrible options," said school board member Anne McLaurin. "I’m sorry."
School board vice chairwoman Debra Goldman said she's worried that reducing extra-duty pay could cause some teachers to give up these responsibilities. She said more needs to be cut out of Central Services before cuts are made in schools.
Chief Business Officer David Neter reiterated that they had already made significant cuts over the years in Central Servvices. He said that putting all $20 million in potential new cuts in Central Services would be the equivalent of cutting $80 million from schools.