School cuts continue

Published 11:37 pm Friday, June 10, 2011

WINDSOR – Bertie County Schools continued its efforts to meet budget cuts from the State of North Carolina here Thursday night.

During the regular meeting of the Bertie County Board of Education, four more position cuts were made, bringing the total thus far to eight.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Debbie Harris-Rollins said the board acted to cut three positions from in-school suspension and the Distance Learning Lab Facilitator. All four are classified positions.

Earlier, the board had eliminated four teacher assistant positions as well as curbing hours for other classified staff members. Teacher assistants in the Exceptional Children’s Department will be cut to nine months and work only on student days while all other teacher assistants will work 30 hours per week. The benefits for both were preserved.

In addition, custodians had their hours cut to 35 per week, though their benefits were preserved.

School counselors will lose one month of employment in the coming year.

Dr. Harris-Rollins said more positions likely will be cut by the school district, but certified personnel would not be finalized until next month.

Bertie County Schools and others across the state have been forced to adopt Reduction in Force (RIF) policies because of the cuts in the state budget by the North Carolina General Assembly.

Already, Gates County Schools and Hertford County Public Schools have made layoffs because of the impending budget cuts. Northampton County Schools have discussed cutbacks, but have delayed taking action.

Bertie County Schools expected to cut 22 positions at the beginning of the process, but it is not clear what the final number will be. Thus far, the district has lost a total of eight positions.