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Gorman proposes to cut 738 jobs, eliminate middle school sports

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is looking at cutting 738 positions as it plans for reduced funding in the coming year. WFAE's Simone Orendain reports.Most of these positions are filled and will involve layoffs, but the district says they also include vacancies. The cuts include 356 teaching positions across all grade levels. In this scenario, the personnel cuts plus trimming in operations and programs amount to $53.5 million.At the school board's first work session to hammer out next year's budget, Superintendent Peter Gorman reminded the board the proposal was theirs to alter."But we need some direction. And as we are here today, we're in the standpoint of 'we're not gonna be able to say no to every cut.' Something's going to have to be done, we need to move ahead with that and we appreciate your time on this process," he said.Gorman proposes cutting more than $6 million from building services where half of contracted work would be on the chopping block.School law enforcement would face a 20 percent cut to its budget. And the proposal that stirred the most impassioned speeches from board members: doing away with middle school athletics altogether.This scenario is based on a five percent cut to the district's total budget. Gorman says his staff is now working on a slightly bigger cut around 7 percent.One third of the CMS budget comes from the county, while nearly two-thirds comes from the state. And both bodies are contending with lowered tax revenues in this poor economy.