RALEIGH- State educators are pressuring lawmakers to quickly pass a budget, that is already delayed by nearly two months.
They held a rally at the General Assembly Thursday. Lawmakers had a July 1st deadline to pass a new state budget, but stalled negotiations have required extensions. Lawmakers voted to give themselves until August 31st to come up with a budget. Governor Pat McCrory has to give it final approval.
"There are cuts. There are pink slips and there is a lot of stress," said Melinda Zarate of the NC Association of Superintendents.
The biggest question is will there be enough money for 8,500 teacher assistants. House leaders and Senate democrats want to add that funding into the new budget. However, the outnumbering Senate republicans want to rule against it and instead spend the money on shrinking class size.
"We tried to save 8,500 TA's, to raise teacher pay to the national average over the next six years," said Senator Valerie Foushee (D-Chatham County). Some school districts say they've already cut teacher assistants.
"Do we hire teacher assistants? Do we terminate teacher assistants? How much money we will have to hire new teachers?" said State Superintendent June Atkinson.
At an educational conference, Gov. Pat McCrory said he wants to give roughly the same budget as before, and let them decide what to do with their budgets.
"And let the schools decide. Do you want student assistants? Do you want teachers? Or do you want a combination of both?" said McCrory.
Gov. McCrory said he does support having teacher assistants in the classrooms, but it's not a state issue.