539 CMS teacher assistants could be cut over state budget

539 CMS teacher assistants could be cut over state budget

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The start of school is just days away and Charlotte Mecklenburg School (CMS) leaders are worried and concerned. A state budget still has not been approved.

"The way that it's looking," CMS School Board Chairperson Mary McCray said. "Are we going to have enough teachers be there in every classroom. I know our superintendent has lofty goals but I have to say I don't know if there is going to be a qualified teacher in every classroom at the start of school."

McCray tells WBTV with the delay of a state budget and the denial of funding from the county to help educate students, the district is in a tough situation.

"It's a serious situation," McCray said. "I am not going to sugar coat it, because it's nothing sweet about it."

The chairperson stays awake at night thinking about the nearly 600 CMS Teacher Assistants who could be out of a job if lawmakers don't provide the money to keep them in the classrooms.

There is debate at the General Assembly happening about how to distribute that funding given to districts to pay for Teacher Assistants. State lawmakers tell WBTV a budget could be approved by the end of August.

In the meantime no state budget concerns and impacts teachers.

"We're not going to be able to make the gains that we should make," CMS Teacher Laura Richards said. "And can make because we are not starting with 100 percent team on board day one."

Richards also tells WBTV hiring teachers late only hurts the students. Teachers won't have time to catch up.

"They're having to scramble to figure out what their CMS email address is," Richards said. "Having to scramble to train on different platforms. We are getting training now and they are not getting professional development."

CMS leaders are waiting for direction from state lawmakers on August 14th. They say they will have a better picture of how to prepare for the upcoming school year.