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Note To BCPS Teachers

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1 Note To BCPS Teachers on Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:46 am


*Please copy and paste this into an email and send to all the great teachers you have a contact for here in BCPS - Thank you!*

Note to BCPS Teachers

First and foremost, THANK YOU for all that you do each and every day for the children of this community!

Please read below to further understand and clarify any rumors and/or misconceptions you may have heard over the last few weeks.

Also, please remember it takes a majority vote of the Burke County Board of Education to make cuts or changes in curriculum, staff, and/or budgets. These are decisions that ONLY the Board of Education can approve or make.


School programs(music and band, particularly)will be eliminated.

The arts are CORE ACADEMIC SUBJECTS under the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), formerly known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB), which was signed into federal law in January... 2002, defines core subject areas as English, Reading/Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Foreign Languages, Civics and Government, Economics, Arts, History, and Geography. Because the arts are core under NCLB, they are therefore eligible for Federal funding. On January 20, 2010, the U.S. Department of Education held a meeting to discuss ESEA reauthorization with various arts stakeholders, providing an opportunity for those stakeholders to make recommendations on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act as it relates to arts learning in particular. The Department has released a summary of the remarks presented at the meeting which may be accessed at: http://www.aep-arts.org/files/DOE_ESEA_Meeting_Arts_Education_Summary.pdf

Art Education is part of the North Carolina course of study curriculum and cannot be cut by a superintendent, this includes middle and high school band. If State budget reduction in the arts is mandated by the Legislature, some art/music programs could be slightly restructured to meet this STATE MANDATE, which would result in minimal teacher loss, not program elimination. Art and music teachers will continue to be utilizied and valued!!


170+ teachers will be eliminated since we did not consolidate schools

The BOE unanimously decided not to consolidate schools because they saw the research that confirmed consolidating schools DOES NOT SAVE MONEY and can be devastating to quality education and communities.

Here is a link to one such study, and there are many, many more…….


All Teacher Assistant positions are to be eliminated

The current Legislature proposal would NOT eliminate ANY TAs in Kindergarten classes. It would NOT eliminate many, if any, in Grade1. The Legislature's biggest cuts would eliminate SOME TAs in Grades 2-3, however, school districts(the Board of Education) would continue to have the option of using teacher assistants in K-3 as needed.

Class rooms will become overcrowded

The link below is an itemized breakdown of PROPOSED State budget cuts. Here is where you will also see the mandated teacher positions and class ratios.

The current Education Budget Reduction Options per the NC Legislature, are to increase class size ratios by either 0-2 students in grades K-3(current required ratio is 1:21) and/or 1-3 students in grades 4-12. This is state mandated and regulated. Not consolidating schools does not change this mandate. In fact, not consolidating schools actually keeps MORE teachers.


Also, the final number of teacher layoffs is not projected to be anywhere near the numbers that have been circulating, thus there are, more than likely, going to be more teachers in the classrooms than what you have been told.

There is a $12M deficit! Where are we going to get the money?

We won’t know what the deficit will be until June 30th. Many professionals are estimating the final deficit will more realistically be around $6-8 million. Most of this could be easily manageable by reallocating funds currently in the county. Meaning, most of the money IS here. As citizens/stakeholders, we have a right to request how it is spent.

Buildings are more important than teachers

The two should have never been compared, as the choice was NEVER between the two. Teachers ARE more important than buildings, but research shows that closing one, doesn’t save the other! We have chosen a quality well-rounded education for all of the children.

One school is more important than another

All schools and children are equally important. The quality of their education is paramount to every stakeholder in Burke County. Burke County citizens have banded together to professionally and positively partake in the decisions made for our LEA (Local Education Agency). We are not divided by schools, we are UNITED as a LEA.

**And please note, according to NCDPI:

As a Local Education Agency, we are a local school system where a public board of education maintains administrative control of the public schools in our county.

Why do we need to keep buildings open if student enrollment is down?

Student enrollment is NOT down in elementary schools. Student enrollment is only down by a small number (43) in middle and high schools.

The CORT study was only ONE study and many see that the numbers on this study were extremely questionable, if not outright false. Current enrollment numbers according to NCDPI and The 2010 US Census population, are showing higher numbers than what CORT PROJECTED.
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