The $21.1 billion draft budget released today in the Republican State Senate cuts funding for teachers assistants by $233.2 million.

The proposed allotment would provide $971.75 for each currently enrolled student in grades K-1.

But the funding would no longer be allocated based on enrollment of students in K-3.

Allocation of teacher-assistant funds for those grades would be left up to Local Education Agencies.

Culbreth Middle School Teacher Chuck Hennessee is president of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Association of Educators, and he’s is not happy about what he’s hearing.

“This is a classic example of our legislators not having a clue as to what really happens in a school – of what needs to happen in order for all of our children to learn,” says Hennessee.

He says that teachers’ assistants are instrumental in many different aspects of a typical school day – particularly in the early grades, in situations where a teacher has lots of young pupils in one classroom.

“Any parent that has more then one child knows that it can be difficult if you’re trying to deal with more than on child at a time,” says Hennessee. “ If you can imagine having – with their newly uncapped levels from our General Assembly – upwards of 25 to 30 children in a class, and having your child need special assistance, but not being able to receive it, simply because of poor legislation.”

Hennessee says he’s also not happy about the Senate plan to give teachers big pay raises, but only if they agree to give up tenure.

“The teacher-salary plan is nothing but a veiled attempt to get teachers to give up the right to due process,” says Hennessee, “which is a basic right in the state of North Carolina for all state employees.”

The proposed State Senate Budget also cuts the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction by 30 percent.

You can read the entire budget here.