CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Charlotte educators rallied Thursday to stop proposed education cuts in the Senate budget plan that could cut teaching assistants from second- and third-grade classrooms.
They said it would cost too many jobs and hurt children.
The Charlotte Mecklenburg Association of Educators met outside Lebanon Road Elementary School condemning the cuts in funding for teacher assistants.
It cuts funding for teacher assistants by half and they say as many as 7,400 assistants could to lose their jobs across the state.
They call those people too valuable in the classroom.
“We run intensive reading and math groups with our students, especially our students who are falling behind. So who are they hurting? They're hurting the students who most need the extra attention,” said teacher assistant Hollie Blake.
First-year Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools teacher's assistant Blake came to fight for her job, knowing the budget also offers teachers an 11 percent raise.
As a teacher-in-training, Blake could benefit from that one day, but she said it's not worth it.
“I don’t believe raises have to come from cuts to TAs and bus drivers and other important personnel,” she said.
Budget writers said they have the balance the ledger somehow and to pay for raises for teachers something has to go.
Blake thinks they need to choose something else.
“I don’t think our state senators understand how important TAs are,” she said.
The budget legislation now heads to the House where changes could be made.