NC Budget Strips Schools of Needed Flexibility, Throwing Teachers into Limbo

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Lawmakers decide to keep funding for teacher assistants during a budget compromise this week. Under this deal, schools are required to use the money for teacher assistants only. The problem is, some schools also use that money for hiring new teachers. 

From WUNC story, 

So, what’s the problem? Well, some schools also use that money to hire teachers, like Darren Geraci – a technology teacher at Apex Elementary School.

Geraci teaches technology to kids as young as age five.

“My first rule is do not touch the screens. So it’s learning how to use a mouse with kindergartners,” he explains.

With his fifth-grade students, Geraci teaches them things like how to create an excel sheet or deal with cyber-bullying.

Geraci also takes care of technology throughout the school building, trains teachers and is the main contact on the school’s help desk.

“If we lose him, I don’t want to say we fall apart…but, it’ll be a burden,” says Principal Keith Faison.

Faison made a tricky compromise to keep Geraci around. He didn’t have enough money, so instead of hiring two teacher assistants, he used those salaries from the state to create one teacher position. 

“I’d like to have both because we need both,” he says. “But in our current situation we couldn’t add more teacher assistants at the expense of losing that teacher.” 

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