Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system cutting hundreds of jobs

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

CHARLOTTE (AP) ó One of North Carolina’s largest school systems is cutting 534 jobs and is preparing for more layoffs if they are needed, but none of the current cuts are classroom teachers.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg school Superintendent Peter Gorman couldn’t say how many people will get layoff notices because of vacant positions being eliminated, The Charlotte Observer reported Wednesday.
Gorman said most of the positions will disappear at the end of the school year, but people losing jobs can apply for others in the system.
Gorman said he will take a 13 percent compensation cut by freezing base pay and eliminating a performance bonus. The move also applies to his top assistants.
“I had hoped to work hard and earn it,” he said. “I think I’m working harder than any other year.”
There are more than 19,000 employees in the school system and this week is the first time employees have been notified of large-scale layoffs. Gorman said as many as 782 more jobs, including teachers and assistant principals, could be eliminated if the financial picture doesn’t improve.
Gorman said state and federal money for the system is expected to decreased for the coming school year and it is unclear how much federal stimulus money the system will receive.
Positions being eliminated include 310 in schools, 133 support jobs and 91 positions in the central office. Some teacher assistants are being cut.
Gorman said a few people with access to sensitive financial or technology information are being terminated immediately.
Officials plan to release more details soon on the job cutting.
“I want people to hear it from us,” Gorman said Tuesday after a school board meeting.
The system earlier this month told 13 employees in the human resources department that their jobs will be eliminated and that they could compete for four new positions.
Wake County schools, another large system, has warned that it won’t be able to rehire 700 employees whose contracts expire in June.