NEWa^e Charlotte $o«t
Thursday, July 20, 2006
School district studies alternatives after defeat
Continued from page 1A
support and what coalitions
can be fiDrmed in the mean-
“We have to plan as if no
funding is coming in the
future,” said Gorman. “There
are (41) days left before the
school year begins,” he said.
We are ejq?ecting 4,400 new
students. There are [already]
more than 26,000 students in
the district depending on us.
Our job is to make sure this
doesn’t have an impact on the
2006-2007 school year.”
For the most part it wont.
There are stUl funds ftom the
2002 bonds, but CMS
Guy Chamberlain explained
those are limited
“The money is goir^ to go
down quickly” he said.
There are still some COPs
available, for use.
Construction on Mallard
Creek High School and Plat
Bread Elementary will be
completed, as they are
already under contract. As
things stand today the four
new elementary schools
scheduled to open in 2008,
win not. With no bond refer
endum scheduled for 2007,
every project put forth in the
SBC package will be delayed
at least a year, after already
bdi^ delayed in Novemba-.
“We will stop budding when
the money runs out,” said
Along with new construc
tion, renovations at schools
hke Idlewild Elementary and
Harding High wdl be put on
hold- In the meantime,
20,000 students wiU be
moved to mobile classrooms.
‘You should never want to
build for maximum popula
tion,” said Gorman.
should always be part of a
strategy ... not part of a per
manent plan. Now (they) are
part of a permanent plan.”
In addition to delayed con
struction and renovations,
CMS officials wUl consider
layoffs* at schools and con
‘We wUl have to start look
ing at eliminating one project
management team,” said
Chamberlain, who is respon
sible for CMS construction.
‘We don’t want to retain
them if they have no work to
Though the possible elimi
nation of one team only
entails five positions, should
funding come through, they
will have to find new people,
causing a break in continuity
with staffing, and possibly
more delays in work comple
“How far do we fall
behind?” Gorman asked.
‘We’re getting into a danger
ous pit where we can’t keep
our heads above water.”
Both Gorman and
Chamberlain reiterated that
half of the Coimty’s inventory
of schools date back to the
1950s and ‘60s. The core sys
tems in these schools, such as
electric and plumbing, are
beginning to fail. Almost 50
schools need upgrades.
The current strategy is to
look at and consider every
option available including
year roxmd schooling, a bond
package in 2006 and public-
private funding. Gorman did
not commit to a specific plan
of action, stating that all
options were on the table.
“There is a whole myriad of
things to consider- We don’t
want to inflame or frighten
would require commissioners’
approval, and could leave the
system in the same situation
again. Even with a referen-
Easley praises N.C.
lawmakers for budget
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
RALEIGH - When Gov, IVhke Easley signed the state’s $18.9
billion spending plan for this year last week, he praised the
General Assembly for its commitment to fiscal discipline, edu
cation and the mentally id.
“It’s a great budget fium top to bottom,” Easley said before he
signed the budget a week and a half into the fiscal year that
began July 1.
The spending plan adjusts the second year of a two-year bud
get approved last summer, so a late start didn’t cause any fiscal
problems within state government. A record revenue surplus -
about $2 bdlion of additional money ■ also helped.
With average 8 percent raises for public school teachers and
at least 6 percent for university and community codege staff,
the biK^t bid spends $943 million on education compared to
last year’s budget, according to legislative staff
The bdl gave what Easley sought to help at-risk students and
poor school districts. Legislators also agreed to hire 100 roiddle-
school Hteracy coaches, as Easley requested.
‘It says to every child in every comer of every coxmty in this
state that you wdl not get left behind in North Carolina,” Easley
Mental health programs received an additional $95 million to
help redouble eftbrts to improve treatment in community set
tings. Lawmakers also agreed to issue more than $328 million
in debt to replace two mental hospitals and complete work on a
third. The bonds are part of more than $672 million in debt to
be issued fhroi^h mid-2010.
The budget partiady cut two “temporary” taxes fii’st approved
in 2001, dropping the state sales tax by a quarter-penny and the
individual income tax rate for the hipest wage earners from
8.25 percent to 8 percent.
Most state workers also get a 5.5 percent raise, the highest in
The Post is interested in
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If you have an idea or
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drun, the alternate options
are not for the 2006-2007
school year, but wdl mostly
‘Teople hold the (school)
board accoimtable for their
actions, but the board does
not have the final word,” he
said. “This is a partnership
... part of this partnership did
not put the needs of kids
Without taxing authority
CMS wdl have to go back to
“We have to plan for the
money to run out,” Gorman
said- “I hope it won’t. I believe
the community won’t stand
for that happening.”
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