The district lost more than 20 teacher assistant positions due to cuts in state funding, according to CHCCS Assistant Superintendent for Support Services Todd LoFrese.
This year, the North Carolina General Assembly decreased the state allotment for elementary school teacher assistant positions by 22 percent, a cut of about $800,000, LoFrese said.
Many of the positions cut were vacant, so no jobs were actually lost, just fewer people hired, said CHCCS spokesman Jeff Nash.
“As positions started to become vacant over recent months, we knew not to fill them with permanent people,” Nash said.
This process began during the 2013-14 school year. Still, parents and teachers are concerned about the change to the classroom environment.
At Mary Scroggs Elementary School, there is one teacher assistant for all four fourth-grade classes and another for all four fifth-grade classes.
“The teachers are more stressed; there’s that extra person that’s not getting the grading and lessons and kind of helping out,” said parent and Chapel Hill resident Carolyn Christians, expressing concern about her fifth-grade daughter’s experience.
“If the teacher has to do all the busy work, then she doesn’t have time to do the more higher-thought work.”