teacher assistants

Lisa Worf / WFAE News

This summer, North Carolina senators pushed a plan to cut thousands of teacher assistants. Educators from across the state rallied against the idea.  And in the budget compromise unveiled this week, lawmakers decided to keep funding for teacher assistants. But there’s a catch; and it’s one that many educators say is problematic.

NC General Assembly

The North Carolina House and Senate are far apart on their education budgets. State lawmakers have bought themselves another 45 days to come up with a state budget. But school districts have to start planning now for next school year and the uncertainty is making it hard. 

Flickr/Seth Sawyers / http://www.flickr.com/photos/sidewalk_flying/4267034867/sizes/l/

The budget state lawmakers settled on last week looked like it would preserve teacher assistant positions.  But it’s not true, according to some school districts.  Teacher assistants may still be cut.   

Senate President Pro-Tem Phil Berger praised the budget last week for giving teachers raises and not making cuts to the classroom. 

Lisa Miller / WFAE

Several superintendents of North Carolina’s largest school districts worry teacher raises may come at the expense of the classroom.  The State Senate has approved a budget that would raise teacher pay on average 11 percent.  But it would pay for that in part by cutting the number of teacher assistants in half.

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Superintendent Beverly Emory said at a press conference today losing those assistants could stall the state’s efforts to make sure kids are reading at grade-level. 

North Carolina teachers would receive an average $5,800 raise next year under the Senate’s plan to boost teacher pay. But there’s a trade-off. Teachers must give up tenure to get the raise and to help fund the raises the number of teaching assistants would be cut in half.

alamosbasement / Flickr

North Carolina laws are changing, from what you need to vote, to which clinics can provide abortions, to how teachers keep their jobs. The General Assembly passed many of the new laws last week at the very end of the legislative session. So every day this week, WFAE is examining some of the major changes. We've covered gun legislation and abortion regulations so far. This morning we focus on education.

There were a lot of new education changes that passed either in bills or through the budget. That includes getting rid of teacher tenure and including money for vouchers for kids to attend private schools. But some of those changes shouldn't be a surprise.