Governor Pat McCrory has said repeatedly he plans to sign the 2014 budget passed last week–and with pride, thanks in part to the fact that it preserves teacher assistant positions, which are particularly important to him.
But on the ground, we’re already seeing local school districts cutting teacher assistants positions as they are faced with sizable shortfalls in their budgets that were handed down from the General Assembly.
The Chief Financial Officer for the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, Philip Price, explained to N.C. Policy Watch last week that this year’s budget actually spends $105 million less on teacher assistants than was originally budgeted for 2014 last summer– and this move comes on top of years of huge cuts to TAs.
Here’s what we know so far:
- Charlotte-Mecklenberg County Schools: will have to cut 90 teacher assistants.
- Winston-Salem/Forsyth Schools: a $4 million cut to teacher assistants means the district doesn’t have enough money to fund 125 teacher assistant positions. Superintendent Beverly Emory noted that lawmakers gave local school districts flexibility to move money out of teaching positions to save TAs, but that that choice is “untenable.”
- Wake County Schools: Lawmakers left Wake with a $12.6 million shortfall, and the state cut $9 million for teacher assistants. It’s not clear how they will handle that cut in addition to underfunding other critical areas of services. Wake County Schools Board members called the state budget “stupid” and “idiotic.”
Got more cuts to the classroom to report? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me an old-fashioned phone call at 919-861-1460. I’ll be Tracking the Cuts once again this year.