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North Carolina District Eliminates Security Positions in Cutbacks

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Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in North Carolina will be cutting 58 campus security associate (CSA) positions from the district and reducing CSA overtime as part of budget reductions for the 2009-2010 school year. According to the district's annual report, the savings from the eliminated positions will reduce state costs by $1.9 million and local costs by about $11,000. Currently, the district employs 177 security associates and about 19,000 people in total. It serves about 137,000 students.

Associates have also been asked to reapply for their positions. Principals have been given hiring approval. The district will allocate one CSA to each middle school and two to each high school. In each case the CSA will report to the principal. The district will also form a rapid response team consisting of 14 CSAs and three lead CSAs district-wide for special assignments, audits, and emergency situations.

In total the district will be eliminating 534 positions as part of a $51.1 million reduction in the annual budget.

"Because more than 80 percent of our budget is spent on salaries and benefits, we have been forced to reduce the number of employees in order to meet our fiscal obligations," the report stated.

The reduction involves the elimination of "hundreds of jobs," according to Superintendent Peter Gorman. "We wanted to keep the cuts as far away from our schools--and our students--as possible," he wrote in a letter to the community. "So we made disproportionately large cuts in central administration and services first, putting cuts that directly affected schools last."

According to coverage of the budget cuts in the Charlotte Post, the job of the CSA is to monitor school policies and procedures, "and help principals and staff with discipline. They also conduct safety audits and keep crisis kits and plans up to date."

Staff reductions won't affect the district law enforcement team.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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