‘Flat out angry’ Buncombe Co. cuts teacher assistants hours as state budget talks languish

TaxesWith no end to state budget negotiations in sight, the Buncombe County School Board is taking matters into their own hands and preparing for a year that includes less funding for teaching assistants.

The Board voted this week to reduced the hours of about 200 TAs from eight hours a day to seven hours a day.

As Julie Ball with the Asheville Citizen Times reports:

Cutting the hours for assistants will mean they lose between $2,600 and $3,000 per year depending on where the assistants are on the pay scale. They would be able to keep their benefits.

The hours could be restored if the money is included in a new state budget, however, state lawmakers don’t have a final budget yet. The continuing resolution allows the state to operate through Aug. 14.

“I cannot understand how we have supposed leaders in office that have the majority and can’t seem to get along to get a budget passed so that our staff and our students know what to expect on the first day of school,” said Buncombe school board member Amy Churchill. “I’m embarrassed by this. They should be embarrassed by this. This is not leadership behavior.”

Board chair Ann Franklin said she was “flat out angry.”

She said the school board can’t raise revenue or levy taxes to fund schools. Instead, schools depend on the county and state.

“We’re between a rock and hard place,” she said. “It’s a very sad state of affairs.”

Some legislators remain hopeful a budget agreement will be reached  before the continuing resolution runs out next Friday.

To read the full story in Friday’s Asheville Citizen Times, click here.

One Comment

  1. Pertains!

    August 7, 2015 at 10:52 am

    Soon available money to hire additional certified teachers and build additional classrooms will not be the biggest problems.

    Hiring qualified teachers will be the number one problem for NC. Not sure if we are the 50th or 49th in pay and benefits but just driving across the state line in any direction will soon be the only logical choice teachers will be able to make.

    This Senate will be long remembered!

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