A Chapel Hill teacher’s assistant tells WCHL that all the budget wrangling between the North Carolina House and Senate has left her feeling uncertain about her future, to the point where she may consider changing jobs.
Patsy Barbee says she’s giving it a couple of weeks to hear back from Chapel Hill City Schools that her job is still available.
“I have thought about looking into something else,” says Patsy Barbee, who was hired last September on a one-year contract as a second-grade teacher’s assistant at Northside Elementary.
“As a matter of fact, I had given myself as time frame, saying that if I haven’t heard anything by such-and-such date, then I’m going to start looking elsewhere.”
Patsy Barbee has worked with kids in Chapel Hill for more than 20 years. The former child care worker was contracted last September for one year to work as an interim second-grade teacher’s assistant at Northside Elementary.
She’s one of the interim assistants hired by Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools under similar circumstances last year, and paid for by reserve funds that are now depleted.
Now, as School Boards all across the state are waiting to see what further reductions the North Carolina General Assembly could make to education in its forthcoming budget. Barbee says she just hopes she and about 100 fellow TA’s have jobs next year.
“I loved coming to work,” she said. “And I loved the kids that I worked with, and the teacher.”
Barbee has some sharp words for legislators in Raleigh,
“The people that make the decisions based on other people’s lives, I don’t believe they’ve ever worked in education,” she said. “Because if they had, then they would not sit there with their honorable selves, and make all these decisions, and make them so that people are unemployed.”
She said she’s also worried about the possibility of teachers having to handle classrooms of around 22 kids without assistance.
The Chapel Hill-Carrboro Board of Education will meet on Thursday to determine what reductions will be made in anticipation of state budget cuts.