by Dr. Terry Stoops
Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
I have been following an interesting exchange on Facebook about Democratic proposals to eliminate teacher assistant (TA) positions. You heard that right. Once upon a time, legislative Democrats and their allies thought it was a good idea to eliminate a bunch of TA positions.
The discussion is getting interesting now that former member of the NC Senate and attorney Doug Berger entered the conversation.
Before voters handed legislative majorities to Republicans in 2010, NC Association of Educators (NCAE) boosters and Democratic leadership in the Senate were proponents of cutting teacher assistant positions. It took an inter-party squabble to defeat the proposal.
So, legislative staff concluded that “teacher assistants were not effective,” which kept the idea of cutting TAs alive. Nevertheless, the Great Recession presented fiscal challenges that altered Democrats’ budget plans.