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Guilford County Schools to cut 50 teacher assistant positions

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — Guilford County Schools announced it will be cutting about 50 teacher assistant positions, according to a release from GCS Superintendent Dr. Sharon L. Contreras.

The cuts are to make room for the new teachers needed to meet a smaller class-size mandate passed by the general assembly.

“Reducing teacher assistant positions is just one of many difficult decisions we are making to manage the anticipated budget shortfall,” the release reads in part. “If the proposed adjustment to the class-size reduction mandate (HB 13) is not approved by the state legislature, we will have to make additional cuts and further redirect resources simply to make ends meet.”

Workers who lose their position will receive a personal notice from their principal and human resources department by the end of the year, the release states. The district will then work with each employee to potentially find another position inside the school system.

EDUCATION BUDGET

Dr. Contreras released her proposed 2017-2018 budget this week.

Dr. Contreras’ recommendation asks the Guilford County Commission for an additional $8.2 million for the operating budget, compared to last year. Most of that will go to raises for teachers and another chunk will go to charter schools.

She’s also asking for another $10 million for maintenance on district buildings. That money will go to the capital outlay fund.

The budget will go before the school board, who will hold a work session and public hearing. Board members must approve a budget by May 15.

Then, it goes to county commissioners, who must approve their budget by June 30. The superintendent’s proposed district budget would bring the money provided by the county commission to about $196.6 million.

Until the state finalizes its budget for education, the district’s spending will stay up in the air.