Question: Again, in my opinion, when students go to college to become a teacher they are not schooled and developed to have Teachers Assistants working with them, they are developed to teach a classroom of students on their own. At the TLC it seems we are overloaded with Teaching Assistants, especially when as a tax payer it does not seem like too much to ask for a teacher to effectively do their job with 18-23 students in a classroom, on their own. Teaching Assistants are a great benefit and luxury, when times are great, but times are not great, and now we need to look at doing more with less, as any other business in this nation is doing right now. Thinking about what I see day to day at the TLC, instead of Teacher’s Assistants, the music and art teachers, the principal, they could greet and oversee the bus runs as they arrive and leave school each day. Teachers could go to lunch and eat with their students, that is how my school operated years ago, and our teachers and students not only survived, we thrived. With the downsizing of TAs at the TLC, although an awesome event, maybe we need to cut the Morning Program down to 1-2 days per week, allowing for more classroom time. This would not make or break our school.
Answer: Some TA positions are on the list of positions to be abolished in the most recently proposed cuts to the budget. Some TAs are required by law for special education classrooms. Others fill in for teachers during contractually obligated planning times and lunches. It's cheaper to pay TAs to do the tasks you list than it is to pay teachers to do it - all job responsibilities are negotiated under contract.
-answered by Ed Szumowski, Board of Education Vice President