State budget battle leaves Wake teacher assistants in limbo
Posted July 23, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — Whether Josette Beller will be employed on the first day of school is not up to her or her boss.
Instead, her job, along with those of dozens of other Wake County teacher assistants, is in the hands of legislators as they hash out an updated state budget.
“We don’t know if we are going to have our jobs when school starts,” said Beller, a teacher assistant at Millbrook Elementary.
Lawmakers have not reached a budget deal as of Wednesday but say there is good dialogue between the Senate and House. At issue is how much to spend on teacher assistants and teacher raises.
Senate leaders said Tuesday they will stick with raising teacher salaries by more than 8 percent on average and cutting funding for teacher assistants in third-grade classrooms. The Senate originally cut funding for second and third-grade classrooms.
The House wants a 6 percent raise for teachers with no loss of teacher assistants.
Beller had no opinion regarding the ongoing debate.
“I don’t even know what to say about that,” she said.
But Beller was blunt about the impact of not having the job she loves.
“It is enough of a hit to our household that I can’t go without this job,” she said.