School leaders across the state say proposed cuts to the Department of Public Instruction would hurt North Carolina classrooms.
The Senate’s spending plan would slash DPI’s budget by 30-percent. Several school administrators say they rely on the department to help run their schools. It helps out with recruiting and evaluating teachers, and offering professional development.
Mike Dunsmore, superintendent of Tyrell County, says his district is the smallest in the state. It serves about 550 students.
“DPI has been the lifeblood of my system for the five years that I’ve been there,” he says. “I’ve cut 26 positions, that’s 21 percent of my staff in that five-year period.”
State officials say the senate spending plan would cut about 100 to 150 positions. On top of that, it would get rid of more than 7,000 teacher assistants across the state. But Senate leaders say they are prioritizing teachers by offering the biggest pay raise in the state history – an average of 11 percent.