The WakeEd blog is devoted to discussing and answering questions about the major issues facing the Wake County school system. How will the new student assignment plan balance diversity, stability, proximity and stability? How will Jim Merrill replace Tony Tata as the new superintendent of the state's largest district? How will voters react to a $810 million school construction bond referendum on Oct. 8 ballot? How will this fall's school board elections impact the future of the district?

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Worrying about layoffs

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Layoffs are not something that's typically mentioned in the Wake school system.

But as noted in today's article, that's a question that a lot of school employees are wondering about in the face of the economic crisis. For the first time in awhile, people are dusting off their copies of Wake's reduction in force (RIF) policies.

It's policies 3430 and 4430.

"I certainly hope we don't have any layoffs," said Jennifer Lanane, president of Wake NCAE, which represents nearly 5,000 Wake school employees. "It won't be good for employees. But it would be devastating for the children of Wake County."

Historically, student growth, staff retirements and resignations have provided a cushion should funding not be as much as expected.

But with Wake projected to only grow by 2,306 students this fall and staff probably less likely to quit and enter an uncertain job market, people are getting worried.

Fears are even greater in other school districts. For instance, Charlotte-Mecklenburgs schools may have to eliminate 1,200 jobs. While they can save some money by eliminating unfilled positions, some people could be laid off.


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What other cost savings measures are being considered?

Does anyone know what else besides freezing, or possibly cutting, teacher positions is under consideration? Here are the priorities elsewhere: First thing cut - transportation, second thing - extracurricular activities and athletics, last thing cut - teachers and instructional funding. When they had to do it in 1980, by December, the community passed a special millage to pay for transportation to be reinstated and extracurricular activities and athletics continued with private funding. They cut back on transportation this year, but have not reduced teaching staff yet. For 30 years, they used on old airplane hanger as the bus garage. At times, the central administrative staff has used an old farm house and an abandoned lumber yard warehouse for their admin building.

Maybe that has something to do with why that system outperforms other more affluent systems. Just a thought.

Art and Music Programs

I think cuts could be made to the specials programs. These teachers could go to half time or split their time at two schools. The art teacher at my kids school does nothing but sit on her laptop while students sit doodling at their tables. There is one salary that could go and no one would miss it.

 When I was a student in WCPSS (a long time ago) and there were budget cuts specials were always the first to go. Not pleasant but at least it will not impact core subjects.

slightly OT


now how is this any different than the BoE "re-allocating" bond funds for renovations instead of the NEW schools that were how they "sold" the bond? just wondering? "certainly not saying Bev is right either, so don't go there!"

Interesting. I do think the

Interesting. I do think the fact that none of them have children in the system is interesting as well. I understand that no school board in history has pleased everyone, but you have to admit, the current situation is a mess, and I feel that the board members show an astounding lack of interest in constituent feedback.

When is the last time Teachers were laid off in Wake County?

Mr. Hui:
There have been hiring freezes, but when is the last time teachers were laid off in Wake County?

Not since at least the early

Not since at least the early to mid 1990s.


If you don't believe that board members are in it for the power than you have never met Patti Head or Beverley Clarke. I think they earn around 17K plus expenses. Clarke and Head could easily manage donating their salaries.

Teachers need a contract

Teachers need a contract more than anyone. They need it to protect their jobs from the evil administrators out there, that would play the "power trip" and eliminate them at no cost! It's just a safety net for those that already work hard and have no say so in anything that is done to them. I feel for them, I really do!

Employment contracts?

The article mentioned that principals are only allowed to give employment contracts that expire June 30, to fill teaching vacancies. Why is the district giving employment contracts at all? In private industry, most employees are just "at-will" employees without any contract at all.  Only a few key personnel get employment contracts and then typically only if they demand one.

Bob, I am guessing that

Bob, I am guessing that having teachers coming and going is disruptive to a classrom and those positions can not be as quickly filled as a private sector job.  In one state we lived, my wife's contract stated that they would "hold" her license if she left during the year for another school system which was used to prevent teachers from job hopping.  So, I am guessing for stability of the class room they need some stronger expectation / restrictions than the private sector.


So, the problem with employment contracts is that they're only binding on the employer and not on the employee.  I agree that a longer-term promise from the school district might help convince teachers to stick around, but there's no way to force the employee to stick around.


First jobs that should be eliminated

First jobs that should be eliminated:
1) Del Burns
2) Chuck Dulaney
3) Bill Postin
4) Michael Evans
3) all board members can donate their salary back to the school system (remember board members, we all have to do our part for the greater good of the whole system).

Yes, if the BOE is in it

Yes, if the BOE is in it for the "love of the children" and making sure diversity is the key to WCPSS success, then I would think they'd be more than willing to continue their crusade sans pay and giving that money back to "help the children succeed."


I am totally laughing my backside off right now!!!!! 



I agree with these

I agree with these suggestions! LOL! Just out of curiousity-what do board members get for salary/compensation?


14-15K.  Independent of your views on the current Board who would want this part time job for this amount of money.  It amazes me those people who say the BOE is doing this for power or money.

Agree, they work for ideology mainly

Why else for that salary. Their power is limited since they don't have taxing authority. They do have the power to screw up peoples lives though, in the name of their ideology. I don't think it's for the children IMHO. I say this without Ron M. in mind, he's the only voice parents have. The rest act like they don't really support the people who elected them or their constituency, they don't answer letters or e-mails. Except Ron, who always answers whether you agree with him or not. Amazing.

VOR is right, but missed one thing..

Once again VOR nails it.  I think ideology drives this, but also hopes of a bigger, better appointment by a Democrat down the road.

 Forced bussing, builds up their democrat bona fides, and will lead to a position in a future democrat administration.  

Pretty depressing, really.  They ruin people's lives all for a warped belief system.  A belief system that is unfair to the people they (supposedly) claim to want to help.


Not the BoE

I do believe you have a point for Dr Burns and especially Chuck Dulaney for a US Dept of Education spot; even if they aren't politicians. I bet Chuck would jump at that chance...let's diversify the country!

Does it have to be THIS

Does it have to be THIS country?

But that's just the start

When President Obama names him diversity tzar to the new UN World Government, Chuck will have his dream...rearranging all the world's people so that we all my share in a universal diversity and there will be peace for all. If I were you invest in bus manufacturers worlwide. Oh the joy.

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About the blogger

T. Keung Hui covers Wake schools.