The figures are in. Across the board, school districts will be losing out on state funding needed for our schools. How great is the impact? School districts still don't know. "They have given us specifics in categories for the state but what does that mean specifically for Brunswick County Schools? We don't have those numbers yet," said Brunswick County finance officer Freyja Cahill. What school officials do know; there will be a reduction in transportation funding, class sizes will increase by two students, and the topic on everyone's mind - what will happen to teachers. In Brunswick and New Hanover Counties, teachers and teacher assistant positions will remain. As for Pender and Columbus Counties, no word yet on how teachers will be affected. The only saving grace is how districts will use federal stimulus money to offset the loss in state funding. "Because of the stimulus money, we were able to create positions with the federal dollars and bring those teachers back into a position," said Murray Middle School Principal Patrick McCarty. Nineteen-hundred positions have been spared in Brunswick County with the help of stimulus money, but there is a catch - the money will run out within two years. If the economy does not turn around by then, there could be more bad news to come for our schools. We spoke with finance officers from each school district throughout our area. They are all working feverously to prepare a final budget before teachers and kids are expected to head back to school.
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