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GASTONIA, NC (AP) — Administrators are scrambling to hire teachers with the new school year less than a week away for most North Carolina students, even as budget-cutting forces layoffs of other workers.

The Gaston Gazette reported Friday that the Gaston County school system is searching for 13 teachers to fill vacancies while more than 70 employees without professional licenses are sent to the unemployment line.

Administrators in neighboring Mecklenburg County need to fill as many as 500 teaching vacancies. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Interim Superintendent Hugh Hattabaugh says the last-minute rush is the result of greater-than-expected teacher funding from the county and state.

Gaston County Schools Superintendent Reeves McGlohon says state cuts tried to protect teachers, but local funding didn’t increase to fill in lost state money so other workers are being cut.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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