Bill would allow for one full time Teacher Assistant in every classroom K-2, provide for 7,456 new positions in North Carolina.
RALEIGH, NC – On March 21st Senator Wiley Nickel filed Senate Bill 329 entitled the “K-3 Reading Improvement Act.” This 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.
Following the filing of SB329, Senator Nickel hosted a press conference with members of the House, the Senate, and the North Carolina Association of Teacher Assistants (NCATA).
Senator Nickel said, “I’m proud to introduce Senate Bill 329. The K-3 Reading Improvement Act is an important step in improving North Carolina public education and providing appropriate and sufficient resources for our students to succeed.”
During his remarks, Senator Nickel said, “The bill focuses on reading improvement and expanding the teacher pipeline for our state. North Carolina has seen a massive decline in Teacher Assistant positions statewide, dropping from 30,002 TAs ten years ago to only 21,418 in the latest fiscal year. Teacher Assistant funding has been gutted by Republican leadership in recent years.”
Senator Nickel said, “The K-3 Reading Improvement Act would allow us to hire another 7,456 teacher assistants to get one full time TA in every classroom K-2. There is absolutely no substitute for having a full-time TA in every classroom.”
Other speakers included Chris Brown and Teresa Sawyer from the North Carolina Association of Teacher Assistants who spoke about their experiences in the classroom. They emphasized that this bill would help improve the teacher pipeline and get student reading up to grade level. Rep. Rachel Hunt filed a companion version in the House (HB428) and also spoke about the bill.