539 Charlotte teacher assistants could be cut over state budget
If some politicians in Raleigh have their way, Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools would have 539 fewer TAs this year. And since there is still no final budget in place, school districts are bracing for the worst.
The start of school is just days away and Charlotte Mecklenburg School (CMS) leaders are worried and concerned. A state budget still has not been approved.
"The way that it's looking," CMS School Board Chairperson Mary McCray said. "Are we going to have enough teachers be there in every classroom. I know our superintendent has lofty goals but I have to say I don't know if there is going to be a qualified teacher in every classroom at the start of school."
McCray tells WBTV with the delay of a state budget and the denial of funding from the county to help educate students, the district is in a tough situation.
"It's a serious situation," McCray said. "I am not going to sugar coat it, because it's nothing sweet about it."
The chairperson stays awake at night thinking about the nearly 600 CMS Teacher Assistants who could be out of a job if lawmakers don't provide the money to keep them in the classrooms.
There is debate at the General Assembly happening about how to distribute that funding given to districts to pay for Teacher Assistants. State lawmakers tell WBTV a budget could be approved by the end of August.
In the meantime no state budget concerns and impacts teachers.
"We're not going to be able to make the gains that we should make," CMS Teacher Laura Richards said. "And can make because we are not starting with 100 percent team on board day one."
Richards also tells WBTV hiring teachers late only hurts the students. Teachers won't have time to catch up.