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BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Teacher assistants around the state are fighting to keep their jobs after Governor Pat McCrory announced cutting jobs in his budget plan.

More than 3,000 teacher assistants could be impacted if McCrory’s plan passes.

North Carolina’s teacher assistant of the year William Johnston says TA’s play a big part of a child’s education. Johnston, a TA at Booker T. Washington Primary School in Clarkton, says they are there for the kids, and if their jobs are cut, the greatest impact will be on the children. He says with the job a teacher has today, they do not have the time to give extra attention to the students. “That’s where we come in. We work with the teacher in a partnership to help make sure that that child succeeds. To work with the low performing students, in order to help move them to proficiency. To take the middle ones and keep them moving forward, and also take our high ones and move them in the direction,” Johnston said.

Governor McCrory’s plan would add 5,000 slots for at-risk children in the state’s pre-kindergarten program. Although the Governor’s proposed budget would take away 3,000 TA jobs, it would add almost 2,000 full-time teaching positions. The plan would cut funding for teacher assistants except for in kindergarten and the first grade.

Johnston thinks if these cuts go into effect we will see a drop in test scores over time. “I think it’s important to help children in kindergarten and especially through the third grade to help establish an educational foundation for them to build on to continue to grow and go forth,” Johnston said.

Johnston wants legislators to know the value of teacher assistants. He thinks people should speak out to let them know how important TA’s are.

Comment on this Story

  • I would like to know what the Governor would do “without” his aides?
    Let’s find out how much they make and let’s cut their salaries and keep teachers aides salaries. I truly believe what our teachers and teachers aides do is far more important. What the Governor is saying is …….Teachers aides are dispensable, not important, not essential.
    Governor go into s classroom for a week and see for yourself.
    I can’t believe you are even considering this action.

  • doesn’t matter

    I would simply just like to know where the classrooms are to hold the additional teachers they speak of hiring when they get rid of the assistants? I would think in many cases that would mean we need more classrooms, desks, chairs, books, etc. Which equals MORE MONEY.

  • Charles Whitley

    Isn’t this playing right into the Democrats’hands? We’re already way behind many countries in education, so why continue the “dumbing down”? We gripe about the democrats taking advantage of the “uninformed” voters so why would we continue to fill those ranks? makes no sense whatsoever.

  • Dawna Daves

    I’m saddened that we are the first targeted for job cuts. I am a Teacher Assistant for my county. This year has been a hard year with students who have mild to severe behavior issue. Since most counties are trying to mainstream these kids into a normal setting, it takes two professionals in the classroom to keep their students successful. Without two trained, qualified persons in the room….a Teacher is left with trying to teach a class of 20 or more students without any help, while addressing behavior problems in the class which can be very distracting. I hope that Governor McCroy will visit some of NC schools, to get a better understanding of the need for Teacher Assistants. Administration can only do so much to ensure student success. We depend on great teachers to teach our children. But, without help they, the teacher cannot address each childs needs especially those EOG testing. You will see a drastic decline in scores. Rethink where budget cuts need to take place, don’t take it from our children. Please keep our TA’s. Thank you..

  • Here-We-Go-Again

    Well comrades, they’ve done it to us again; run out on us that is. It happened at the end of the 2010-2011 school year and now it’s happening to us again. If you’re able, lay a hurtin’ on their budget and go out on retirement or disability if you have to. I read a lot of good 2 cents sense in this column but really we work for the lowest of all salaries within the school districts and when any local administration can sneak our salaries off to a grant fund and not tell you anything about it, well we’re basically working for leadership that doesn’t care anything about us, the kids, the existing staffs or even themselves for that matter. Local LEa’s are the hardest thing DPI as to deal with anyway. It’s time for a top down reorganization of the system – and I say: give the LEA’s the boot forever, turn the state DPI into basically a purchasing department for the federal government and turn the whole thing over to them (the Federalies) to run however they want to – then take your kids to private church run schools so that you can get the education for your child you feel is best (using your voucher). Sure it’ll undermine the whole system and it’ll collapse from within, but that’s what wanted anyway – so let them have it. Get your’s on your way out the door.

    Good luck everyone,

  • TBaxter

    I am a Teacher Assistant and love my job. I care about the education of our children so much that I have gone back to college to get my Teaching Degree. A Teacher Assistant is not JUST a Teacher Assistant. In the society we have today it takes a mom and a dad working to take care of the children and provide for them. We live in a very fast paced world. When I was in school, we had 32 to 35 children in a classroom. When we got home mom was there to help with homework. Listen people, times have changed. We were disciplined in school when we did something wrong and I am not talking about being fussed at, I am talking being sent to the office and being paddled, a phone call home, get home and it was worse at home than it was at school. In the area I am from, a lot of children get home and take care of themselves. A Teacher Assistant is an educator, a mom, a grandmother, a nurse, a doctor, a mentor, and a friend. We work all day to educate the children in North Carolina. We are not in a room making copies all day. We have plans where we take groups of children and actually teach. Many times we end up being the sub in a room where a Teacher has got to leave because they are sick or something has happened that they need to leave. We as Teacher Assistants continue with what the Teacher was teaching, so the classroom is not disrupted just because the Teacher has to leave. Teacher Assistants are needed. I will take any of you on, on any given day, and just come and walk in my shoes for a day. We need to give the children of North Carolina the education they deserve and it takes the Teacher Assistants to help do this. We have to love our jobs, or with the pay we get, we would not stay with it. Leave our education along and let the Teachers and the Assistants do what they need to do to give our children the best education we can.

  • TA

    I think that the governor needs to rethink this. Teacher assistants do more than just assist the teacher. They drive the school bus, assist classrooms with EOG training and just pretty much help the school to run smoothly. To get rid of the TA’s would mean to let an entire school down, and put more pressure on the teacher. That would mean less focus on teaching.

  • Michelle R

    As an Elementary School teacher I am always amazed at the fact of how underrated Lawmakers or how insignicant they place on the role of the Teacher Assistants in the classroom, and not that I am not all about our kids learning what they can from the use of technology and how important it will be in the future, but I believe that kids benefit just as much having two teachers in the classroom to help meet their needs and bridge those academic gaps. I would like to see
    TA’s in grades K-3, and then starting in the 4th grade let them benefit from all this technology information. The Governor is looking at cutting 3,000 TA positions, but creating 5,000 Pre-K slots, those TA positions that are at risk to being cut those individuals can move to Pre-K, one thing for sure NO PRE-K CLASSROOM CAN OPERATE WITH OUT A TEACHER ASSISTANT.

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