CMS Teacher Assistants Out of a Job Next Friday

In just one week hundreds of teacher assistants in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will be out of a job. Their employment is still up in the air after lawmakers in Raleigh voted Thursday to continue budget talks until mid-September.

Imagine for a second if teacher assistants no longer existed. How would that impact your child? Mary Scavo, a teacher at Irwin Academic Center, says personal attention to students would take a hit.

"To not know if they're going to be here, we're having to rethink how we're going to be teaching, helping these students. We don't know how we're going to reach out to all the children. It's a big strain," said Scavo.

A strain also for teacher assistants themselves like Biannca Harrison-Walker.

"I've been here since '99 and I’ve never experienced these deadlines that we keep on having. I feel like we're not being talked to personally. We just hear things from everyone else," said Harrison-Walker.

On Friday, state Senator Joyce Waddell took on the challenge teachers and teacher assistants recently made to state lawmakers to be a TA for the day.

"There's almost no time for a break. They're engaged with them in reading, with small groups. We saw that this morning," said Waddell.

Right now, state lawmakers are 59 days late and counting in passing a budget. The house wants to keep teacher assistants, while on the other hand, the senate wants to take that money and get more teachers and smaller classrooms.

"Even if they were to cut down classroom size, to meet those individual student needs without a teacher assistant there would be impossible. We would still need a teacher assistant there to meet those individual needs," said Scavo.

Not only that, but CMS is still struggling to fill 84 vacant teacher jobs.

"I don't know how much sense would it make to try and hire more when you can barely cover the ones that haven't been filled," said Harrison-Walker.

Budget talks have been extended to September 18th. This is the third budget extension this year. CMS says it's looking to see if there's any way to keep teacher assistants after September 4th.