Debbie Votta spends her day taking care of other people's children at her day care center in Union County. On Friday, she said she was concerned about who will be taking care of her own children next school year.
All of the nearly 350 teaching assistants in Union County schools are losing their jobs.
"It's a person who sits next to my son and ensured he knew that reading excerpt," Votta said.
The district made the cuts to make up for what's expected to be a nearly $10 million deficit. It is announcing the cuts now, to give employees time to plan.
The school district had asked the county to help save those jobs, but county leaders said that's up to the state. It's concerned a one-time payment for a long-term cost will just delay the problem until next year.
"I think it's a pretty frustrating thing being that educating our kids is the most important thing," said mother Jennifer Anyaegbunem.
The Chairman of the Board of Education said parents shouldn't give up yet. There is some real hope that some of those teaching assistant will be back in the classroom in the fall.
"We've been working with our local delegation in Raleigh. They certainly understand our position and are advocating," said School Board Chairman Dean Arp.
Arp said with the funding expected right now, the district should be able to hire 35 to 40 percent of the teaching assistants back. The question now is how much more money the district could get, and when.
"I don't think it's going to be the full amount. We believe it will be something, though," Arp said.
He said so much is still up in the air, but if there is extra money, it would mean added positions.
Parents said they really hope so. They said this is about more than just budgets for them. It's about their children's future.
"The kids are paying the price and that's hard. That's a hard nut to swallow as a parent," Votta said.
Arp said they expect to know how much the state will give them in about two weeks. A decision on hiring teaching assistants back will be made by July 1.