McCrory Breaks Promise to Veto Any Budget That Cuts Teacher Assistants
Budget gimmicks force districts to choose between larger class sizes and laying off TAs.
RALEIGH -- Gov. McCrory was very clear in his promise to veto any budget that cut teaching assistants.
Given that he “proudly” signed the budget Thursday morning, you’d think that means no teacher assistants will be cut, right?
Actually, the cuts have already started. The budget reduces funding for teacher assistants by about $100 million, and the Winston-Salem Journal reported earlier this week that Forsyth County Schools are being forced to cut about 125 TA positions as a result. Mecklenburg County is losing 90 TA positions, according to the Charlotte Observer, and Pitt County is losing 14 TAs. More cuts are expected to follow in other districts.
School districts are allowed to move money that was slated to reduce class sizes into their TA budget to make up for the cuts, which lets Republicans claim they’re technically not cutting jobs -- when in practice, that’s exactly what’s happening.
“These budget gimmicks are forcing districts into a no-win choice between larger class sizes and layoffs for teacher assistants,” said Gerrick Brenner, Executive Director of Progress North Carolina Action. “It’s clear that Gov. McCrory and Republican lawmakers are far more committed to their failed tax handouts for rich people than to our children’s education.”
The GOP’s reckless tax handouts for big corporations and the wealthy are expected to cost North Carolina $5.3 billion over five years in lost revenue. This is despite McCrory’s 2013 State of the State promise than any tax “reform” would be revenue neutral. Republicans claimed that cutting taxes on the rich would somehow magically create revenue, but nonpartisan legislative analysts now say the handout scheme will end up costing over 40% MORE than the original estimate.
“It’s hard for teachers to appreciate a small one-time pay bump knowing it comes at the expense of their students and colleagues,” added Brenner. “If the GOP would prioritize education over their reckless tax handouts for the rich, we wouldn’t even be in this situation.”