At the end of March, Senator Wiley Nickel and Representative Rachel Hunt introduced the “K-3 Reading and Literacy Improvement Act”.

The bill would provide funding for one teacher assistant for every classroom in kindergarten through second-grade and one teacher assistant for every three third-grade classrooms.

Current law allows for funding for only two TA’s for every three kindergarten classrooms, one TA for every two first grade classrooms, one TA for every two second grade classrooms and one TA for every three third grade classrooms.

Speaking on the bill Representative Hunt said, “Teachers and parents agree that these valued professionals are key to having our children reading on grade level by 3rd grade. If we want to move the needle on reading progress, we must improve the adult to student ratio in our early grades.”

Senator Nickel added, “We need to guarantee one full time teachers assistant in every classroom from kindergarten through second grade. Republicans in the General Assembly have totally gutted funding for teacher assistants in North Carolina. We had funding for 30,002 teacher assistants in 2009 and now have funding for only 21,422 teachers assistants in 2019. We must restore funding now.”