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Via: http://www.charlotteobserver.com

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools officials said this morning they will be able to restore 141 teaching positions for the 2010-11 academic year, because state budget cuts were not as steep as expected.

Superintendent Peter Gorman called it “a good day,” and said up to 120 more callbacks could be coming, depending on decisions about the county budget.

The system had eliminated 580 teaching positions at the end of the past academic year due to anticipated cuts in county and state funding; CMS had to approve its budget plan before state and county officials had voted on theirs. Neither budget was as bad for CMS as the worst-case projections, but the district has held off on restoring county-paid teacher jobs. That’s because the state budget took about $6 million in lottery money from Mecklenburg County to save state-paid teachers, and it’s not yet clear how county commissioners will offset that.

“We have to be cautious and safe and know that their budget is not done,” Gorman said today.

CMS said it anticipated state officials would order classroom size to increase by an average of two students, and it planned accordingly. But the school system recently learned average class size will be increased by one student.

Those numbers are only averages, Gorman said. Individual classes could be larger or smaller, based on changes in a school’s enrollment or principals’ decisions. For instance, a principal might decide to keep small classes for younger or weaker students, leading to larger classes for others.

Gorman said the new jobs will be posted and available to laid-off CMS employees and new applicants. “A handful” of tenured teachers who were laid off and haven’t found a spot will get first claim to any jobs that match their skills, he said. Others, including those who lost their jobs because they were on short-term contracts last year, can apply and compete with others.

“We try to look at people who have worked with us previously and have positive evaluations, but they are not guaranteed the first job,” Gorman said.

Gorman said CMS hopes to have most of the 141 restored jobs filled before school opens Aug. 25, though some principals who fear their enrollment will come up short may hold off.

CMS said it is in the process of assessing teaching needs at its 178 schools and will post openings soon on its website, http://www.cms.k12.nc.us.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools officials said this morning they will be able to restore 141 teaching positions for the 2010-11 academic year, because state budget cuts were not as steep as expected.

The system had eliminated several hundred teaching positions at the end of the past academic year due to cuts in county and state funding.

CMS said it anticipated state officials would order classroom size to increase by an average of two students, and it planned accordingly. But the school system recently learned average class size will be increased by one student.

That is the equivalent of 141 teachers, CMS said.

“We’re pleased to be able to have more teachers than we expected,” Superintendent Peter Gorman said.

CMS said it is in the process of assessing teaching needs at its respective 178 schools and might be posting openings soon on its website, http://www.cms.k12.nc.us.

The 2010-11 academic year starts Aug. 25, and teachers report to work Aug. 18.

Read more: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2010/07/29/1588843/cms-to-restore-141-teaching-positions.html#ixzz0v6Bm6YtW

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