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Charlotte Area News

Gov's budget plan surprises Gaston schools, but not CMS

Governor Bev Perdue has proposed a budget that cuts spending by $1 billion. Some of that savings would come from education. Under Perdue's plan, money going to local school districts would be cut by 4 percent. That's in line with what Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools had expected. CMS Superintendent Peter Gorman anticipates state lawmakers will go along with a 4 percent cut in state funds. That's the worst-case scenario Gorman said he expected last week if coupled with a 6.5 percent cut from Mecklenburg County. A reduction of that size would mean eliminating 1000 jobs, including 600 teacher positions. The Governor's proposed budget did take Gaston County Schools Superintendent Reeves McGlohon by surprise. "It's about 1 percentage point higher than what we had anticipated," says McGlohon. He says if state lawmakers approved the plan, it wouldn't mean layoffs but it would translate into higher class sizes. "It would have a significant impact on our school system and our students," adds McGlohon. State lawmakers will begin compiling their own versions of the budget when the legislature convenes next month.