House, Senate budget deal would save teaching assistants

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Submitted: Fri, 05/27/2011 - 6:54pm
Updated: Fri, 05/27/2011 - 6:58pm

Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — The chief budget-writer in the North Carolina House says a potential deal to finalize a budget with the Senate would preserve funding for teaching assistant positions in the public schools.

Rep. Harold Brubaker of Asheboro said Friday there’s a plan afoot to set aside as much as $290 million more for K-12 education than the House spending plan offered earlier this month. He said the idea would be for the Senate to make changes to its proposed $19 billion spending plan scheduled for a floor vote next week.
Then the House would vote for the Senate plan and send it to Gov. Bev Perdue.

Perdue has threatened a veto unless public education is protected.

The Insider newsletter first reported the rough dollar amount of the proposed education changes.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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26 Comments on "House, Senate budget deal would save teaching assistants"

2015 years 8 months ago

wake up grandpa but there have been teacher assistants around for over 40 if you were in the NORTH during the civil war, then Im sure thats why you had only one teacher for all your 10 years of high school..the older generation is so out of touch with today’s issues..isnt the Price is right on? go watch that instead of commenting on issues you know nothing about..there is over crowding in today’s classrooms, in case you havent notice and they are also cutting teachers jobs as well. Teachers are leaving the profession because of poor salaries..sometimes I wonder about the sanity of WWAY bloggers..teacher assistants are sorely and commonsense are ridiculous with your comments..

2015 years 8 months ago

if schools are so properly run; and if parents are so involved in their children’s lives, why does every school — and that’s every public school including elementary schools — have a police resource officer on duty?

And why are you opposed to teachers, teacher assistants, school administrators, parents, and students being held accountable for success or failure?

As to the Price is Right, I’m too busy running three companies which pay taxes so weasels like you can put nonsenical posts on websites like this.

And why my status as a grandfather has anything to do with the validity of my posts escapes me.

But then, folks like Commonsense and I put fact filled posts on this site while weasles like you put inflamatory posts on here to detract from the truth.

2015 years 8 months ago

with the post. We are about the same age. I attended public school; had one teacher per grade; and was held accountable at home. Bad grades equaled no sports; I never had to worry about the Coach benching me for poor grades. Act up in the neighborhod; be late from school or for dinner — very specific motivation.

Commencing at age 16, I had a part time job. While in college, I had part time jobs to supplement the GI Bill.

College was courtesy of the GI Bill. Grad School was after work and paid for by my employer.

You don’t achieve success if you are unwilling to pay the price. And part of that price is involved, accountable parents.

Anita Smiley
2015 years 8 months ago

Why are teaching Assistants needed?

There is more material to learn in the same 180 days that you attended school. What you learned in high school is now being taught in the elementary schools. Do you recall taking a computer class when you were in high school. Yes, students are still learning the basics. That is English, Math and Science. How do you think students are attending early college? Do you recall taking end of grade tests (EOG)? Students have to be prepared for this! And if there were 40-50 students in a class when you were in school then I’ll bet you it is double that now. Because that 40-50 have an average of 2.5 children attending public schools.

Teachers are required to have grade level planning time and meetings in order prepare students for end of grade tests. Lesson plans have to be made. We have children who attend school who have disabilities and those that act that way.

And you ask what do teaching assistants do? They monitor the class and assist students who don’t understand while others can continue with the lesson. They work individually and in small groups so that “no child is left behind”. Some are required to work one on one with those with disabilities.

So I ask you, would you want to be a Teacher without an Assistant?

2015 years 8 months ago

When I went to school we had one teacher. We had anywhere from 40-50 students in an elementary school class, 15-30 in a high school class.

We all learned the subject material.

We all graduated and went to high school.

Most of us went on to graduate college.

What has changed so much in forty-five years that we now need a teacher and an assistant for less than twenty students….and with the end result that they learn about half of what we learned?

2015 years 8 months ago

It is obvious that you have not observed a grammar grade lately. Children are raised completely different today than 45 years ago. Children cannot be left alone in a classroom for fear of a lawsuit if something happened and there was not an attending adult left with them in the room. Teachers do have to take a bathroom break and attend to sick students who have to go to the bathroom, which sometimes is 500 yards from the classroom. If the teachers had to take up snack, fund raiser, and lunch money; check and turn in attendence records, help each kindergartner pack up for the day, get their snack at snack time, plus hundreds of other things that are in their job description that does not pertain to teaching, there would not be much time left for teaching.

2015 years 8 months ago

Back then the children sat there and learned. When one acted out a note or phone call home from the teacher meant serious discipline (maybe even a whoopin’). Parents were also involved in their child’s education, made sure homework was done, and kept up with grades.

Today if a teacher calls home the parents only concern is why their little angel is being singled out. No discipline, no involvement, just drop them off and expect the school to do it all. If a child is behind, it’s the teachers fault.

One adult can’t do it all today. A lot has changed in 45 years.

2015 years 8 months ago

However, I have to admit that I’m disappointed in most of the replies. The basic theme is, “Society has gone to hell in the past forty-five years and we have no choice but to accept it and adapt.”

When did we become so unwilling to set standards of behavior and demand that they be met?

When did we become so impotent and bureaucratic that a teacher couldn’t go to the restroom without having a permanent monitor on duty?

When did we ever adopt the insane notion that every single student positively MUST succeed and pass? When did we stop understanding that some children are intellectually capable of being brain surgeons and some are intellectually incapable of being more than a janitor?

You can’t repeal the law of survival of the fittest. This idea that we must take extraordinary efforts to reach the proverbial “ten-percent” is bankrupting our educational systems.

Most of the replies simply reinforce what I have recommended for years: I don’t care if you have to eat PB&J for lunch five times a week, get your children OUT of government schools.

2015 years 8 months ago

When you and I went to school parents was allowed to correct their kids and the school was able to bust the kids butt if they acted up now that is not the case no discipline at home or at school. By the way most parents dont care about their kids.

2015 years 8 months ago

I agree with you Common! We didn’t have assistants either, except in the first grade.

I AM a teacher assistant
2015 years 8 months ago

First – not every student learned the subject material, graduated from high school, and most did not go on to graduate college back in the “olden” days. I began elementary school in 1959 and it is very true that classrooms were a lot different then. We sat in rows and any mischief was met with dire consequences at school and then again when you got home. My Mom was home waiting for me every afternoon to provide me with a snack, hear about my day, and help me with my reading and writing homework. My Dad would come home and help me with science and math. I didn’t watch too much TV and when I did, we watched as a family. We ate every meal as a family. Life was very difference when I was a child.

Today’s schools are data-driven with student-focused classrooms which include small group instruction, one-on-one interventions, and tutoring for those students who need help. The student population has changed dramatically especially in the last few years with more and more children being diagnosed with autism and chronic illnesses. The economy’s downward slide has impacted our students. We tend to think children don’t worry about such things, but they definitely do; and when there is not enough money for the basic necessities of life, it becomes increasingly difficult to focus on learning, even at a young age.

The role of teacher assistants in our classrooms has evolved over the sixteen years I have been an assistant. I began as a one-on-one locally paid TA to help one mainstreamed EC child. The next year I became a state-paid classroom assistant working in fourth grade with three teachers. Mostly my job was clerical and supervisory during those first years. I became a technology teacher assistant as the computer curriculum took off and the future because the present! I am NCLB Highly Qualified and have a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Georgia. I have my North Carolina Association of Teacher Assistants baccalaureate certificate which requires continuing professional development. During this year alone I have earned 27 hours of continuing education. I now work part-time with the technology in my school and part time with small group strategy instruction and intervention in a four grade and fifth grade class. My teachers include me as part of the educational team. My administrators, both at the school and central office, recognize the importance of what teacher assistants do.

I have a suggestion for you and for anyone who hasn’t spent a day in an elementary school in a long time – visit and see for yourself. Or better yet, volunteer some time to help!

Melinda K. Zarate
NCATA Legislative Chair

2015 years 8 months ago

I don’t always agree with Commonsense, but this time he hit it right on. I went to school in the 50s and 60s. We always had at least 30 students per class. There was one teacher, who had complete control over his/her class. No assistants were necessary. I have always said they were a waste of taxpayer dollars and were there for the sole purpose of drawing a paycheck (created positions). However, I suppose that with lesser quality teachers, it takes two to accomplish what one was able to do in years past.

2015 years 8 months ago

I don’t know how old you are Commonsense (although your comment doesn’t show a lot of this) but I started Kindergarten in 1958. All I remember from Kindergarten is painting and having a snack of graham crackers and milk. I have my class photos from 1st through 3rd grades; we had 29, 23 and 21 students and no assistant (even my mom, who went to a one room schoolhouse, didn’t have 40 and 50 kids in class).

What we also didn’t have was No Child Left Behind and modern day courses of study that require children to begin reading in Kindergarten.

Here’s some other stuff we didn’t have: video games, cell phones, mp3 players, cable/satellite tv and televisions in children’s bedrooms. We were lucky to have one television and we only received the local network stations.

Here’s what we did have: plenty of time to play outside and parents who read to us. We roamed around the neighborhood and town freely and if we misbehaved someone called our parents and told them. And guess what, our parents got upset with us, NOT the neighbor who called them.

I am a teacher with more than a dozen years experience and a master’s degree. I teach Pre-K (which by the way, is almost certain to be eliminated for next year). Most of my students are poor, many of their parents have lower levels of education, the majority of them are minority and many do not speak English as a first language. Most of them arrive in my classroom not even knowing colors, much less letters, numbers or any of myriad things they need to know before Kindergarten.

Bottom line: children are coming to school less prepared and are expected to know much, much more than even a few years ago. There is no way to keep the bar at the same level, much less raise it without assistants.

Southern Born
2015 years 8 months ago

I to attended school back then, I have no common sense what so ever, but willing to beat 1 teachers assistant, that there is no actual statistic that can prove folks educated in the 50s and 60s retained and reused twice as much academic subject matter,

Common sense or not that statement is just Bull %$#&…

If not, please direct me to the literary published edition, with credible authors on the subject matter.

2015 years 8 months ago

We took our “finals” and if you didn’t pass them, you didn’t move into the next grade. In high school we not only had finals, but we had New York State Regents examinations, which is how many of us won academic scholarships. Mid-terms and finals. No different from EOG except we didn’t need a multi-million dollar state agency to oversee them. The teachers made the test, graded the test, some students soared and others crashed and burned.

It is a well established fact that today’s students are NOT being taught history in depth or anything to do with economics any longer. Reading the documentation that Neal Boortz often refers to, that facilitates the long-term goal of having workers who are able to work and pay taxes, but too ignorant to question governmental policy.

As for computers, where did I learn how to use them, quite well I might add? I use them every day in extremely technical applications from financial analysis to engineering controls and applications. It’s my observation that when they learn computers in high school, they’re dead in the water when the battery in the laptop goes dead. They can’t manually compute a tangent or even count change.

I’m sure that teachers’ assistants work hard, but are they giving us a good return on the investment we’re making? You folks are shovelling sand against the tide if you believe that “no child can be left behind.” From the womb, some are destined to be rocket scientists, some will sweep gutters. All the phony-baloney, feel-good rhetoric and taxpayer money in the world can’t change that, and I don’t care if that’s coming from Democrats coddling the underclass or Republicans dreaming up another unconstitutional nightmare like NCLB.

Bottom line? We can’t solve all the world’s problems, but we can sure go broke trying.

2015 years 8 months ago

“…I think a general Government necessary for us, and there is no form of Government but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered, and believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, but can only end in Despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic Government, being incapable of any other.”

Ben Franklin September 17, 1787 (Delivered on the final day of the Constitutional Convention)

2015 years 8 months ago

I attended school in New York City and you can take it to the bank that we had 40-50 kids in elementary school classes.

Your post simply reinforces what others have said and I take issue with – parents don’t bother to teach their children rudimentary reading and writing or stimulate their cognitive skills prior to kindergarten, so the taxpayers have to make up for their neglect. We need taxpayer funded Pre-K to cover for lazy, stupid parents? Perhaps we need to explore licensing parents, mandatory sterilization, and revisit the issue of taxpayer funded abortions upon demand.

It’s simply another example of the government playing Santa Claus, using the money of productive citizens to carry the worthless and try to do something, anything, to try to salvage kids that are already behind the eight-ball.

When do we start holding people responsible for their own lives? When do we say, “Your son is still in the first grade at age nine because YOU did nothing to prepare him for school?” When do we start letting people fall on their swords and stop trying to compensate for their ineptitude?

We’re facing financial collapse because we keep propping up twenty percent of the population who shouldn’t be breeding! Perhaps the best “War on Poverty” would be to provide direct cash payments in return for NOT producing mouths they can’t feed.

I have no desire to see you, as an individual, lose your job. It would give me great satisfaction however, if you, as a Pre-K teacher, became unemployed when we finally dumped Smart Start, More at Four, and all the other cute, catchy buzzwords that indicate I’m paying to make up for worthless bums creating the next generation of worthless bums.

Let them sink or swim on their own….

2015 years 8 months ago

You’re a smart guy with some good ideas. Here’s the dilema… how do we get through to both politicians And citizens that the real problem in this country is overpopulation and unwated pregnancies? How do we go about telling people they MUST stop having children without being seen as communists trying to control what people do with their own bodies?

90% of all socities problems stem from just two things. Unwanted pregnancies and child abuse, primarily sexual abuse. You reduce those two issues and the majority of all thefts, of all drug abuse, of all violent crime, of all financial problems such as welfare and other government entitlements, and a hundred other smaller issues would be DRASTICALLY reduced in this country. So how do you do it, without being seen as communist China? How can we get the people to realize that the real problem In this country comes down to one thing, TOO MANY PEOPLE!

2015 years 8 months ago

Democrats rely upon the underclass for votes. The more poverty stricken people they can coddle means the more votes they can get. Since many of the underclass have lost their voting rights or are too stoned/drunk to get to the polls on election day, it takes five coddled deadbeats to gain one more vote

Republicans face a double-whammy. A large percentage of their constituents oppose abortion for religious reasons (which I fully understand) but even worse, Republicans cannot stand up to both the Democrats and the media, so they cave whenever the heat it turned up. Republicans basically have backbones made of overcooked linguine. Call them racist or mean-spirited and they cave every time because they consistently fail to get their message out.

Since we can’t stop poor people from breeding I’m in favor of giving everyone a vote, but then giving additional votes for every $10k paid in taxes. It’s the only way that we can stop the saps, suckers, scammers and Socialists from bankrupting America.

commonsense my a$$..
2015 years 8 months ago

I am so tired of reading your offer NOTHING positive when it comes to the less privilege..I really hope you never experience any HARDSHIP..when was the last time your children visited you for the holidays, Im pretty confident they are all in therapy.. who calls children worthless bums? why WWAY continue to let you post on here is beyond any sir/madam are part of the problem because all you do is put these disadvantage children down instead of offering what could be done to help THEM..according to intro to biology, children arent asked to be born..they dont pick their parents or their living situations…cut programs you say and then WHAT!!! the problem still exists..use your real name when you call children worthless bums and see how far it gets you..again, I hope you havent procreated on this earth, its very clear you have very misguided views when it comes to people who arent old enough to log on here and speak for themselves..

2015 years 8 months ago

So your answer Is ‘The system is broke and there’s nothing we can do to fix it.’ Our population is growing exponetially and our resources are dwindling every year, yet there is nothing we can do to change it.

Thanks. Really appreciate it. Yet another blowhard with all the opinions in the world and yet not a single answer. Very helpful. Give me a real answer or just shut up already. This is THE ONLY real issue in this country and on this planet, yet NO ONE has an answer. Everything else is just re-aranging deck chairs on the titanic. Any moron can spit out as many kids as they please with absolutely no consequence no matter how screwed up they become or how much of a burden they become on society , yet if I drove to the store without my seatbelt on I can get pulled over and harassed and fined $150.

2015 years 8 months ago

There’s just nothing that we WILL do.

America, just like Rome, the Holy Roman Empire, the British Empire, and the Soviet Union, is lost. We will financially collapse before we will hold people responsible for their own lives.

As long as people realize that they can vote themselves money, there’s no way to avoid it. Once the saps, suckers, scammers and Socialists comprise 51% of the voting population, it’s all over.

2015 years 8 months ago

If you’re tired of reading my comments, stop reading them.

Melinda Zarate
2015 years 8 months ago

Guest525 – Yes, I AM the legislative chair for NCATA, a position I do on my own time. I am an appointed VOLUNTEER, not a paid lobbyist. I am a teacher assistant and VERY PROUD to stand up for the 26,000 North Carolina teacher assistants (Total = Federally,State,and Locally Paid) who work very, very hard (for very little pay) to help our students achieve. It makes me sad that there are people who dismiss us as if all our hard work means nothing. We DO make a difference!

2015 years 8 months ago

It figures NCATA Legislative Chair! Need I say more?

2015 years 8 months ago

Why do we need teacher’s assistants in this depressed economy? The teachers should be able to do that “work” themselves. This is just continuing the waste in our educational system.