60 security cuts planned at Charlotte schools; nearly 500 pink slips going out this week

By Dedrick Russell - bio l email

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools is eliminating 60 campus security associates (CSA) in an effort to reduce its operating costs for the district.

This is just one of many cuts district leaders are implementing in an effort to trim $51.1 million from the 2009-10 budget.

This elimination has some teachers worried.

"If the students know that they are not present," CMS Teacher Angela Weddington said.  "I believe that will drive up the group of students who wouldn't want to do what they are supposed to do."

The school district informed the security officers about the job cuts on Wednesday.

Currently, there are 177 campus security officers and this means there will only be 119 next year.  Two more CSA positions will be added for next school year.

All of the campus security associates will have to reapply for their jobs and only 119 will be chosen.

The campus security officers enforce school policies and assist principals and staff with disciplinary issues.  Some of them direct traffic in the morning and assist with security at school athletic events.

One CMS teacher told WBTV how a CSA recently helped her restore order to her classroom.

"I had a student who took out his cell phone, Ipod, and would not follow instructions," CMS Teacher Dot Cromwell said. "Why should I waste precious time in my classroom. All I did was call a campus security associate and had him [student] removed."

As of now, a total of 498 CMS employess have received pink slips notifying them about job eliminations.  Twenty-one employees have already been dismissed because of the sensitive nature of the work in which they performed.  The remaining employees will continue working until the end of the current school term.