CMS plans cuts in administration

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will cut 26 middle- and high-school assistant principal jobs for the coming school year, the district announced Friday.

The cuts, a reaction to a tighter-than-hoped-for county budget, do not mean the administrators will be laid off. All or most will be moved into vacant positions, including some created by the opening of six new schools in August, said spokeswoman Nora Carr.

CMS will save about $2 million by eliminating 19 jobs in middle schools and seven in high schools. Officials were still working on the final list of schools, and expect to release that early next week.

CMS froze some hiring in May, when it became clear the district would likely get less than the $369 million Superintendent Peter Gorman and the school board had requested from the county. County commissioners, eager to avoid a tax hike in a feeble economy, carved out $351 million for CMS, up $10 million over the previous year.

The district also scrapped plans to spend about $625,000 in county money to clone the Performance Learning Center, a small high school for students who haven't done well in larger settings. The original PLC will remain open, with Principal Sherry Sigmon, who had been tapped to open the second school, at the helm.

Officials said they announced the latest cuts Thursday afternoon, as its offices were closing for the holiday weekend, because they wanted to give principals time to adjust to the staffing changes before schools open Aug. 25. “School administrators have significant preparations under way and we felt we needed to have any shifts on the leadership teams finalized as soon as possible,” Deputy Superintendent Maurice Green said in a prepared statement.

State legislators are still hashing out their budget, which provides about 60 percent of CMS's operating budget. If that budget also falls short of expectations, further job cuts are likely, officials say.

Gorman has said he expects to unveil a longer list of budget cuts later this month.