Wake County Schools

State budget could cut 400 teaching assistants from Wake schools

Posted April 9, 2013

— Gov. Pat McCrory's proposed state budget would be a "landscape changer" for the Wake County Public School System, resulting in the loss of $12 million in funding to pay about 400 teaching assistants, Chief Business Officer David Neter told school board members Tuesday afternoon.

The $20.6 billion state spending plan for 2013-14 includes funds to hire 1,800 public school teachers statewide over the next two years, but cuts money for teaching assistants in second and third grades.

The budget proposal would increase the ratio of teaching assistants to kindergarten and first grades, however. 

Losing 400 teaching assistants at two grade levels "would impact Wake County in a very significant way," said school board Chairman Keith Sutton.

School board member Tom Benton called it a "major step backward."

"Has anyone seen any data that suggests fewer adults in the classroom will improve instruction?" Benton asked. "That is what we are being told about this budget."

Interim Superintendent Stephen Gainey said that he plans to fight the cuts by talking to the Wake County delegation of the General Assembly.

In addition to adding teacher jobs, some board members said there are positives in the budget proposal, including extra money for classroom supplies.

"I think there were a lot of things that came out of the governor's budget that increases the funding in technology and textbooks and other areas," said board member John Tedesco.

Tedesco agreed that keeping teaching assistants in the classroom is critical for young students, but said he thinks there is still time for school leaders to make that case to lawmakers.

"Hopefully, there will be some adjustments made," he said.

88 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • WralCensorsAreBias Apr 16, 2:26 p.m.

    Let the cuts happen. Enough sugar coating and stringing people along, if we can't afford it then we can't afford it.

    Guess what?

    We can't afford it.

  • hiddentreasurescruecds Apr 12, 11:57 a.m.

    "If some counties have trouble attracting teachers to move there, then that is the county's issue, not the state's."

    So the state doesn't care about having qualified employees in its own public schools? Wow, that's news to me and probably news to the state of North Carolina as well.

  • JustAName Apr 11, 2:33 p.m.

    "So the poor, rural school districts that can't find teachers don't matter? I can assure you there isn't a line to get a job in Anson, Hoke, Scotland, Richmond, or Robeson Counties to name just a few." - hiddentreasurescruecds

    I can assure you that there are more teachers wanting jobs than are available in the areas that they want to be in. If some counties have trouble attracting teachers to move there, then that is the county's issue, not the state's.

  • what_in_the____ Apr 10, 3:33 p.m.

    So Proud I'm NO longer a resident of WAKE COUNTY..Now my children will actually have a chance for a good education

  • peace2u Apr 10, 2:49 p.m.

    More people out of jobs and on unemployment...is this really saving money? Plus less individual help for little children in crucial grades. Sad day in NC. But, hey, if it helps cut taxes for corporations, the repugnant are all for it, right?!

  • hiddentreasurescruecds Apr 10, 2:41 p.m.

    "Just because they don't want to live is some small town, doesn't mean there isn't a line."

    So the poor, rural school districts that can't find teachers don't matter? I can assure you there isn't a line to get a job in Anson, Hoke, Scotland, Richmond, or Robeson Counties to name just a few.

  • JustAName Apr 10, 2:16 p.m.

    "If teachers have it so "easy" with their "cushy benefits" and "long vacations" why isn't everyone standing in line to be a teacher? Why are there shortages throughout the state? For those of you complaining about how your job compares to a teacher's job...why aren't you a teacher? Anyone care to answer this simple question?" -hiddentreasurescruecds

    Call up DPI and ask them how many out-of-state applications they processed today. It won't be 0. There are plenty of teachers moving here trying to get jobs. Just because they don't want to live is some small town, doesn't mean there isn't a line.

  • mustainemad Apr 10, 1:49 p.m.

    Since every school system in the state has cried "wolf" over budget cuts for the last couple of years, and NOTHING HAPPENED, are we supposed to believe it now???

  • Stickman Apr 10, 1:38 p.m.

    Good. About time!

  • Holy Carp. Apr 10, 1:27 p.m.

    "If teachers have it so "easy" with their "cushy benefits" and "long vacations" why isn't everyone standing in line to be a teacher?"

    Because most would last about a week.

More...