CHCCS Chair Fears Coming Budget Cuts
CHAPEL HILL – Chapel Hill-Carrboro school board chair Michelle Brownstein is running for re-election and says the state-level cuts that will affect the 2013-14 budget will have deep impacts on local schools, especially with around 80 percent of the budget going to personnel.
“Our state government, at least with the budget they just passed, while I’m waiting for the final translation of that from our budget office, I’m concerned that we’re going to end up not having the funds to keep all the positions we have,” Brownstein says. “It’ll mean bigger classrooms, less teachers, less support for teachers.”
Brownstein says that one of her biggest accomplishments as chair of the school board is raising awareness about illiteracy and instituting programs to improve reading ability among students.
“I think that’s critical, in terms of making sure all kids can then get a year’s worth of growth,” Brownstein says. “And then the kids that are behind, which is really important, need to get advanced growth, and the only way they’re going to be able to do that is if they can read well.”
Brownstein says her other biggest accomplishment on the board is hiring Thomas Forcella as the CHCCS superintendent. She says his plans for the future of the area are the same as hers and he has only begun to implement them.
“He’s starting his third year now and that really is right when he’s going to begin to execute his long-range plan that’s going to move our district forward, I think, on multiple levels,” Brownstein says.
As a first-term member of the board, Brownstein says that she herself has only begun to implement her vision as CHCCS board chair.
“Being on the board just one term barely gets you going,” Brownstein says.
Election Day in November 5.