The Macon County News reports that Jackson County will have to dip into $500,000 of its general fund balance in order to pay for teacher positions, teacher pay raises and teacher assistants, thanks to a state budget that disinvests in public education for another year in a row.
In addition to county support, Jackson County has taken the initiative to start cutting positions in hopes of bracing for the impact of the lack of funding from the state.
“We have been cutting back on teacher assistant positions when possible because of the trend to not fund them,” said Dr. Murray [Jackson County Schools Superintendent]. “We have currently only done this through attrition or through transfers within our own district. The trend statewide will be to eliminate teacher assistants in all areas except K-1 classrooms.
Like so many other educators across the state, Jackson County recognizes the need for teacher assistants and hopes that the state level will make changes soon. “Our teacher assistants are valuable members of our educational family,” said Dr. Murray. “They are used appropriately and help reduce our class size by working with students in small groups and assisting the teacher in providing differentiated instruction in the classroom.”
Rowan-Salisbury Schools made a decision on how they will handle the state’s budget cuts to public schools — they laid off 46 employees last week.
Forty-six Rowan-Salisbury employees found out Friday they will be without a job this school year.
“Schools operate like families, so when you lose someone on your staff — for a school, it’s like losing a family member,” said Superintendent Dr. Lynn Moody.
Due to state budget cuts and a dwindling fund balance, the district cut 79 positions — 18 district-wide personnel, 15 school-based personnel and 46 teacher assistants.
Of those 46 layoffs, 32 were teacher assistants. Many of those TAs doubled as school bus drivers (see my story about this issue here).
It’s not the first time Rowan-Salisbury has had to reduce its workforce.
Since the financial downturn in 2008, roughly 300 positions have been cut.
This time the cuts are because of reductions in state teacher assistant funding and the district’s fund balance.
The state budget called for a 22 percent, or $1.3 million, reduction in funding for teacher assistants.
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