A letter dated June 1 was mailed to approximately 80 Buncombe County teachers informing them that their contracts might not be renewed next year.
The move by Buncombe County School officials is in response to the education budget proposal currently in the General Assembly that would increase class sizes statewide by two students per class.
That means the elimination of 6,005 teacher positions statewide, approximately 110 of them in Buncombe County.
“We do have people retiring and others leaving for other reasons,” says Buncombe County Schools Communication Director Jan Blunt. “Take them out of the mix, that leaves approximately 80 teachers.”
The budget won’t actually be passed until July, but the school system is required by law to notify teachers by June 15 that their positions may be cut. And, Blunt says, the budget would impact all kinds of school personnel, including bus drivers, secretaries and teachers assistants.
“We just had to let these people know now,” she said. “But this is just the tip of a very large iceberg.”
The notices went out to untenured teachers. The Board of Education is expected to make a similar announcement at its June 4 meeting.
— Brian Postelle, staff writer