Published: Saturday, August 24, 2013 at 20:59 PM.
Shirley Scott made several points in her letter to the editor of Aug. 19 that are factually inaccurate. By researching the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and legislative records, I obtained the following information:
First, the county did not have any control over the state reduction for Teacher Assistants. This is a specific allotment category on the state budget. Last fiscal year the state legislature allotted $5,889,906 to be used specifically for TAs, and this year's allotment for TAs is $4,808,880. This state mandated reduction of over $1 million dollars prompted action by all 115 school districts. Craven County Schools followed their previously established reduction in force policy for classified personnel to rank employees based on years of service, performance evaluations, and the ability to perform other duties such as drive a bus. The projection from the state for the allotment for TAs for next fiscal year includes an additional reduction of 19 percent. Craven County Schools is not authorized by the state to override the state legislature’s budget, which was signed by the governor, and move funds from another category into that established for TAs.