The state's teacher lobby is planning to work district by district to keep state-mandated education cuts from increasing class size, a move which would result in the loss of teacher jobs.
The budget adopted by the House and Senate on Wednesday prohibits any changes to class size in grades K-3. It orders local school officials across the state to cut a total of $225 million. School officials are urged by the budget to move money around and use federal stimulus dollars to avoid harming classroom instruction.
The N.C. Association of Educators told members in an e-mail message that it believes no teacher jobs should be cut. A second message offered the organization's help to ensure jobs are preserved. That help could be through advice, or political pressure.
NCAE Vice President Rodney Ellis spoke to local leaders over the last two days and he is confidant that federal reporting guidelines, State Board rulemaking and NCAE's efforts to assist locals will preserve classroom resources for students.
"Nothing is more important to our success at the local level than getting members engaged in school board decisions and county commission budgets," Ellis said. "We have a budget that helps us, a federal government that is looking closely at local spending, but we must have a strong local membership willing to speak up."
Some school administrators have said they are reluctant to hire teachers based on federal dollars that aren't yet in hand.
NCAE says there are plenty of funds that have already been delivered and taht they've already been able to help school districts find cuts without sacrificing jobs.
Update: Post includes fuller description of NCAE's position.