Craven Co. Schools budget talks continue

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NEW BERN, NC (WNCT) – Plans to make up a $3.5 million deficit in the Craven County School System are still in the works.

On Monday, the School Board met with County Commissioners to discuss the issue. The two groups sat together to discuss the school system’s deficit. The school board wanted to bring commissioners up to speed before they start working on a formal budget. The school system’s funding comes mostly from federal and state aid; however, the county does provide some money.

Board members presented the latest proposal which lists cuts for more than 20 departments including teachers, nurses, and athletics. County commissioners asked a number of questions, but their main concern…decreasing the number of nurses in the school system.

“I don’t think you can put a price tag on a life, and definitely, when you’re talking about something as important, it’s all important, but something as valuable as a nurse in a school,” Craven County Commissioner Jason Jones said.  “I personally don’t think that’s something that I as a county commissioner could stand for to see you all have to cut out.”

Chairman George Liner also voiced his opinion about the cuts. He says while nothing is more important than the other, previous boards worked hard to get nurses in every school, and he wants to keep it that way. Right now Craven County is one of only five school systems in the state to have a nurse in every school. If this proposal goes through, that will no longer stand

Nothing is final, both the school board and county commissioners are just discussing possibilities. One thing is for sure, the school board will have to find a way to make up 3.5 million dollars to ensure they can break even.

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