RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – North Carolina teaching assistants rallied at the General Assembly Wednesday to fight for their jobs as thousands of positions are on the chopping block as lawmakers try to tighten the state budget.
Senate leaders say fewer big cuts to education mean better classrooms, but the budget will reduce funding for teaching assistant positions. Almost 14,000 positions could be eliminated over the next few years.
Education advocates say TA positions are crucial to a school’s success.
“Many of them right now serve as bus drivers, so they play dual roles. When you eliminate those positions…who’s going to provide that additional 1 on 1 instruction?” said Rodney Ellis, President of the North Carolina Association of Educators.
Melanie Walker recently retired from teaching and says she enjoyed her time in the classroom, but constant cuts made the job impossible.
“It’s really said because I always loved teaching,” Walker said.