Erin Zureick

Education, politics and observations from Sanford

Clarifying cutting teachers

I wanted to clarify a point in my story this week (“Budget Could Cut 40 teachers,” April 9) after reading some online comments. The story addresses the part of the N.C. Senate’s budget that would increase classroom size for K-12 by two students per classroom.

As an example, for students in grades kindergarten through three would see average classroom size increase from 18 students to 20 students. The Senate’s proposal would result in the loss of 40 teachers from Lee County Schools, Superintendent Jeff Moss said.

The point of confusion is how many students are already in K-3 classes. Most of these classes already have at least 20 students. However, the school district applies for waivers that allow it to have more students than the currently mandated 18 students.

The Senate budget would then increase the number of students in each classroom even more.

Note: The General Assembly still must present its budget priorities. The full extent of the statewide budget cuts likely won’t be known until the summer.


April 12, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Listen to the superintendent’s budget podcast

Lee County Schools Superintendent Jeff Moss has created a podcast to discuss the school district’s ongoing budget process.

The Lee County Board of Education is aiming to get the same amount of local funding from the Lee County Board of Commissioners this year as last. The school district would see about $1.6 million less in state funding under a proposal from Gov. Bev Perdue. The General Assembly must ultimately decide that budget though.

The school board should vote during its April meeting on the local budget proposal.

Download Moss’ podcast here.

April 3, 2009 Posted by | Education, Sanford | , , | Leave a comment

Speak out about the school budget

Are you a parent or Lee County resident worried about the effect budget cuts could have on education?

Then the Lee County Board of Education meeting Tuesday is for you. As part of its budget work session, the board will hold a public hearing. Those interested in speaking can contact Susan Britt, clerk to the board at 774-6226, x 1217. Comments will be limited to three minutes.

The meeting will be held at the Heins Education Building Assembly Room, 106 Gordon Street.

The board will likely face making some painful cuts this year. The school district’s state budget will be slashed by at least $1.6 million, according to a proposal by Gov. Bev Perdue. That would eliminate some support positions such as tutors.

Educators are hoping to receive the same amount of money from the Lee County Board of Commissioners for the 2009-10 budget.

March 22, 2009 Posted by | Education | , , | Leave a comment

What the schools want to fix next year

As part of the first Lee County Board of Education budget work session this week, Superintendent Jeff Moss presented capital projects for 2009-10 that the school district would like to see completed.

The following documents show projects that principals or administration deem necessary.

A color code guide: yellow means it is a superintendent-recommended project. Gold means the school board wanted to complete the project this year but could not because education lottery funds were frozen (they usually help fund capital projects).

In all, Moss is recommending about $1.5 more in projects (about $4 million total) than the Lee County Board of Commissioners approved last year. Browse below to see if a project you think is needed is on the list:

View this document on Scribd

March 19, 2009 Posted by | Education, politics, Sanford | , , | Leave a comment

Making a budget

The Lee County Board of Education had its first budget work session Tuesday, when Superintendent Jeff Moss unveiled his proposed local budget for 2009-10.

That budget calls for no increase in funding from the Lee County Board of Commissioners. Gov. Bev Perdue announced her budget priorities Tuesday. The district expects to have to cut about $1.6 million from its statewide budget. The school board has discretion of where to cut more than half of that money. And of course the state budget won’t be set until this summer by the N.C. General Assembly.

Locally, the district will save about $90,000 that it no longer has to pay for Lee County students who attend charter school Provisions Academy (which will close in June). However, that money will be offset by a legislated retirement rate and hospitalization increase.

Here is the timeline for the school district’s budget process, and see below for a breakdown of budget requests for expenditures (stay tuned for another post later about capital requests).

  • March 24: Budget work session school board (5 p.m. Heins Education Building)
  • April 22: Local budget requests due to county
  • July 1: County must act on school budget
  • Oct. 15: Board of Education must approve final budget resolution
View this document on Scribd

March 18, 2009 Posted by | Education, politics, Sanford | , , | Leave a comment