Local Districts Face Cuts To Teacher Assistants

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Despite reports that the budget deal passed last week would fully fund all teacher assistant positions, the Winston-Salem Journal reports on $4 million in cuts locally due to the General Assembly. From their article,

What is clear, he said, is that money for teacher assistants has been cut. More than $100 million was cut from teacher assistant funding, which will equate to just under $4 million locally. That’s about 125 teacher assistants, Crutchfield said. The General Assembly will allow districts to transfer some of the money appropriated for extra classroom teachers to reduce class size to teacher assistants, but it’s not enough to cover the full amount cut.

Superintendent Beverly Emory said the choice between reducing class size and keeping teacher assistants is “untenable.” The district needs both, she said, but will likely use money to preserve teacher assistants.

“If it’s going to cost people their jobs, I don’t see how we can use it (for class size),” she said.

The district put a freeze on filling vacant teacher assistant positions in the spring when it looked like the money would be cut. That freeze will continue until the school board has a chance to review budget details and decide how to handle the cuts, Emory said. That decision is tentatively scheduled to be made at the board’s Aug. 26 meeting – a day after the new school year starts



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