New CMS list: 1,176 layoffs

Large high schools lost the most teachers, while elementary schools lost fewer.
By Ann Doss Helms,, July 2, 2009

Myers Park High took the biggest hit from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools budget cuts, losing 23 teachers and six other employees, according to a new list of 1,176 laid-off employees released Wednesday.

About three weeks ago, the district released a list of 855 teachers, psychologists, social workers and assistant principals whose contracts were not renewed. But that list, which contained no details about the jobs those people lost, had several errors and did not include laid-off workers who didn't have a teaching license.

At the Observer's request, CMS provided a list of all employees whose jobs were eliminated because of budget cuts and who were not placed in a new job as of Tuesday. It includes their job, where they were working and when CMS hired them.

The Observer also requested the race, gender and appeal status of the laid-off employees. CMS spokeswoman LaTarzja Henry said that is not classified as public information by N.C. law.

Only 66, about a half-percent of the laid-off staff, were not working in schools. That includes 11 cut from the alternative education department, 10 from human resources, eight from building services and five each from the Bright Beginnings prekindergarten and career/technical offices. The six regional administrative offices, known as learning communities, lost a total of five employees, most secretaries. Before the cuts, CMS had almost 20,000 employees.

Superintendent Peter Gorman and board members have said they wanted to protect classrooms, but the majority of CMS's staff and spending is in the schools. All told, CMS cut about 1,300 jobs for the year that started Wednesday in response to a $35 million cut in county money for 2009-10, as well as big state cuts that are expected. State legislators have not approved a budget. Gorman says that budget could force more CMS layoffs.

The new layoff list doesn't provide a full picture of all the changes playing out in schools and CMS offices. People whose jobs were eliminated but who landed other CMS posts by Tuesday are not on the list. Nor are teaching jobs that were eliminated from schools where enrollment is expected to drop in August; those teachers are often reassigned to other CMS schools, including six new ones opening in 2009-10.

Not surprisingly, large high schools dominated the layoff list. West Charlotte and Garinger high schools each lost 16 teachers and four other employees. Butler, Independence, Olympic and Providence highs each lost 15 teachers, and Independence lost seven additional employees.

J.T. Williams Middle, with about one-fourth as many students as the big high schools, lost 13 teachers.

Elementary schools, which tend to be small, lost fewer teachers, but many took a hit on teacher assistants.

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