MONROE, N.C. -- More than 100 people showed up Monday night at a Union County commissioners meeting to urge the board to save the jobs of all 350 school teacher assistants by providing the school board with an additional $6.7 million.
Fifteen people, including parents, teachers, a 9-year-old and a woman with a bugle, spoke at the public hearing for the county’s 2012-13 budget, which does not contain that additional money requested by the school board. “Taking (the assistants) away from education…is setting us up for failure,” teacher Carrie Terry said, to applause.
The school board eliminated the teacher assistant jobs to help close a budget deficit, and wants the county to fund what has traditionally been a state function. No vote was taken Monday; the budget needs to be adopted by June 30.
Before the meeting, Commissioner Jonathan Thomas said he will urge commissioners to consider taking about $4 million designated for school capital funds and instead let the school board decide if it wants to use that sum for capital funds, or teacher assistant jobs. He also said it’s possible that the state may ultimately provide more funds too.