State lawmakers in the Senate have released their budget plan, which includes the finer details of how they would pay for an 11 percent salary increase for teachers who agree to forego tenure protections. But Senate budget writers would take about $390 million out of k-12 funding. That would cut the money for teacher assistants by nearly half.
Republican Sen. Jerry Tillman says the state would keep teacher assistants for kindergarten and first grades – but get rid of about 7400 assistants in second and third grades.
"Research shows that in k-1 they’re an integral part, it’s a lot more cloudy on what good that they do as far as leading to instructional gains other than K-1," says Tillman.
Teacher assistants are just one bullet point in a long list of cuts in the proposed budget. The Department of Public Instruction would be cut by 30 percent.
Senate leaders also want to move the State Bureau of Investigations over to the Department of Public Safety. The Senate is expected to vote on their budget proposal by this weekend.