North Carolina classrooms saved?

By Dedrick Russell - bio l email

RALEIGH, NC (WBTV) - North Carolina classrooms may not be out of the woods just yet. There is still a chance they will  be forced to make additional cuts.

Tuesday the NC Senate approved its version of the $19 billion budget.  It does not call for increasing class size. And it does not require school districts to lay off more teachers. Some feared that would happen.

Instead state lawmakers say they will give school districts the money and will leave it up to them to make the decisions on how to spend the funds.

The NC Association of Educators says it will now put pressure on local school districts to do right by teachers and classroom size.

While the group is targeting school boards, teachers in the Charlotte- Mecklenburg school (CMS) district are hoping stimulus money will save the day.

"Still no word from Dr. Gorman on what we are going to do with our stimulus money," Charlotte - Mecklenburg Association of Educators President Mary McCray said.  "But it is our hope and desire he'll let us know soon."

CMS has more than $56 million dollars of stimulus money that has not been spent.  Superintendent Peter Gorman said he will determine how to spend that money after the state approves its budget.

The budget could go to Governor Bev Perdue's desk for her signature as early as Wednesday.