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Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — More trouble in North Carolina budget negotiations after senators left the room when the House brought in local school leaders to speak to bolster its position to preserve funds for teacher assistants.

House budget-writers called Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Heath Morrison during a public negotiating session Wednesday morning. But chief Senate negotiator Harry Brown said the two chambers had not agreed to allow outside speakers, and he and other Senate Republicans walked out.

Senators returned later as the House’s speakers concluded and presided over the joint Senate-House meeting.

The Senate proposal would eliminate funding for more than 7,000 assistants in second and third grades. The House keeps the funds. The Senate wants to spend unused teacher assistant money on higher teacher pay raises than the House offered.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comment on this Story

  • SurfCityTom

    that had nothing to do with a unanimous decision to walk out. And if you can comprehend, all Senators, regardless of political affiliation, walked out.

    This was neither left wing, right wing, or limp wing.

  • Bearclaw

    So Thom Goolsby and his fellow “honorables” walked out after they heard the truth about the value of teachers assistants in elementary schools. How dare the state’s citizens get in the way of their right wing revolution!

  • beach guy

    Right wing revolution is what you got from all of the senators walking out because a house member violates the rules you are no better than the person whom wrote the story. Just look for any reason whether it is valid or not to bash a republican. Wait until the mid-terms your left handed head will explode!

  • beach guy

    Senate rules?
    The first comment reeks of opinion and shows the writers true colors as a liberal attack dog.
    The opinion of the writer was not news it was an effort to sensationalize a routine action.
    How can a legislative body function if they do not obey their own rules?
    It would be fine if you moved it to the op ed section where at least it would be an obvious commentary on the philosophical discipline handed down to you by your masters at ABC .

  • Timekeeper

    Pretty much the old “if we don’t play my game, I’ll take my ball and go home” attitude. Guess you can’t expect much more from politicians that are supposed to be about the business of running our government.

  • Keith

    Sounds like you just described Harry Reid!

  • Guest2020

    It’s more like, “if you can’t respect us enough to follow the rules that were agreed upon, then we aren’t staying.” This falls on the ones who decided to break the rules, not the ones who insisted that the rule be followed.

  • JEB

    Every article that I have read about this said that the only ones that walked out was Republicans.

    The politicians in Raleigh are there to do our business not theirs. And to do that they need to listen to both sides; and to throw a fit and walk out is not serving the public good.

    I have to agree with Gov. Pat McCrory:

    “I was extremely disappointed that members of the Senate walked out on our superintendents and our teachers,” McCrory said. “I don’t think that’s the appropriate way to have dialogue with our educators and show respect to our educators.”

  • 10101

    The rules stated no one can speak at a conference committee if they are non-members. Rep. Dollar called on a speaker anyway. Conference is now over. Why? Because the rules are the rules. Period.

    This has nothing to do with liberal or conservative philosophy. This screw up is totally on Rep. Dollar. He thought he was above the rules. He wasn’t.

  • Lyn Yates

    Obviously you have never been involved in a classroom where teacher assistants do just as much as the teacher!!! Every year I assist with children who need extra time because they are considered “low.” Year after year assistants help in ways you could not fathom in your deepest thoughts. I challenge you to take a class of 26 kindergarten children with no help………..or any grade as far as that goes for one month and I will bet you would agree to have assistants!

  • guest45

    School ran fine for a lot of years without teacher assistants, if a teacher feels the need for a helper let them pay them out of their pocket, substitute teachers used to be parents, and they were very good at it, way to much being wasted tax dollar wise, let the teachers roll up their sleeves, and get down to work, the good teachers will rise to the top, the meager ones will sink, pay the good one’s, send the others into another career.

  • BP

    School kids aren’t the same as when we were growing up. Kids and parents today present an overwhelming array of problems ranging from learning problems to behavior problems to financial problems to truancy problems.

    Teacher assistants are trained in how to educate kids with a variety of learning styles and levels, particularly in reading, writing and math. Kids from poverty situations can be as far as three years behind kids who have been regularly exposed to reading and language. This is not uncommon. Even children from middle and higher income families can be a year behind and struggling in school.

    Due to:
    -Large classroom sizes and therefore needing to break up kids into small groups with more than one teacher,
    -Higher learning expectations of students from the state leaders and representatives,
    -The new state (and/or federal) law of “avoiding” disciplining students and lack of support by administrators to suspend students,
    -Legal issues regarding kids with behavior problems (exceptional children) and
    -Kids who are not on grade level in one or more areas,

    …you can clearly see that classroom teachers need all the help they can get. Even though parents help out TREMENDOUSLY when they volunteer, there aren’t enough of them at all schools and they can’t be there for that many hours. The need is huge, and our representatives continue to cut and cut–this only makes things worse. In addition, our teacher assistants contribute to our economy by having jobs–why cut them?

    In regard to the walkout and the Senators consistent self-centeredness and lack of understanding what is happening with our kids and families, it is a sad commentary on our elected officials. What happened to “…by the people, for the people”? I will be reconsidering my votes this year. North Carolina politics have become an embarrassment.


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