Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools may cut more than 1,200 jobs to cope with the worsening economy, district officials said Thursday.

Employee furloughs, pay reductions and changes in class sizes also were discussed at Thursday’s school board work session.

“We’re going to have to sharpen our pencils and look for reductions we haven’t even thought of yet,” Superintendent Peter Gorman told the Board.

The economic downturn has reduced local and state revenue, and CMS is looking at cuts next year ranging from $53 million to $87 million. In 2008-2009, the district’s budget was $1.2 billion.

Gorman gave board members a list of potential cuts for the 2009-2010 budget year totaling $53.3 but warned deeper cuts may be needed.

The list included:

— $17.2 million from central support and operations. These cuts, which would represent 7.4 percent of the division’s budget, would be made in communications, human resources, technology services, finance and school law enforcement, as well as other areas. It also would include cutting 170 positions, which represents five percent of the staffing in that division.

— $14.8 million from the academic services division. These cuts would represent 7.4 percent of that division’s budget and would include curriculum and instruction, career and technical education, learning communities, Exceptional Children and English as a Second Language student education and professional development. It also would include cutting 128 positions, or 4.5 percent of division staff.

— $23.3 million from the schools division. This would represent 3.6 percent of the division’s budget and would include changing the formula for assigning assistant principals and support staff, reducing or eliminating teacher assistants and eliminating the local accountability bonus. It also would involve cutting 395 positions, which represents 3.8 percent of the division staff.

“Once you get into the $50 million to $100 million range, there really is no place else to go,” Gorman told the Board.

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