GREENVILLE N.C. (WNCT) – Pitt County Schools cut 25 TA positions for the upcoming year in preparation for the new budget that has yet to be passed yet.
Fourteen of those positions will be cut through retirement and unfilled positions. Eleven TA’s were laid off.
“I feel that we are very much being bullied,” said Trina Watson. She’s been a TA in Pitt County for eleven years. She was gearing up for another year when she received a call Tuesday morning telling her she no longer had a job. “Right now, I am networking and resourcing and contacting the right people so I can do what I’ve got to do to fight this.”
She says all she was told was that she had been one of the eleven TA’s who were going to lose their job due to continued budget cuts for school districts by the state.
“How do you get the position that you have without an education,” asked Watson.
Since the proposed budgets were sent out, Pitt County school officials have said they could lose up to 50 TA positions before the school year begins.
With these cuts coming so close to the first day of classes, teachers like Emily Klinedinst are left in a difficult position.
“Teacher assistants are kind of the glue that hold the school together,” explained Emily Klinedinst, Pres., Pitt Co. Assoc. of Educators. “So you really don’t want to plan without them.”
Back in July, reduction in force letters went out to teacher assistants in the county indicating cuts due to the state budget may be necessary.
“They’ve been getting these kind of anticipatory feelings for several years as TA’s have been cut,” said Klinedist.
If the county loses 50 TA’s this year, they’d be left with only about 139.
Watson says she’ll be able to keep her normal bus route, but plans to try to fight this decision. In the meantime, she’s started looking for other jobs in the area.
Those TA’s who lost their job are eligible for unemployment and can keep their benefits for the year.
No word yet on if more TA positions will be cut.