Teachers react to education cuts in budget - WNCT

Teachers react to education cuts in budget

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GREENVILLE, N.C. -

Teachers in the east are outraged---they're reacting to the state's proposal to cut education funding by $480 million dollars; the cuts fall over a 2-year-period, but none-the-less they say it's too much.

"We have to turn this around and not for just the teachers, but for the children." Emily Klinedinst of the Pitt County Association of Educators said. She and thousands of teachers across the state will lose their tenure if lawmakers in Raleigh sign the latest budget proposal.

"To lose teacher tenure, I mean you're just not considering us as professionals." Klinedinst said.

That's just one of the requirements. If passed, teacher assistants will be cut from the classrooms, an opportunity scholarship or voucher program will be created and it phases out master's degree stipends.

Vivian Martin Covington, Executive Director of teacher education at East Carolina University says she is most concerned about losing students to other professions, more-so ones with a master's.

"We do believe that having a master's degree as a teacher is important in the field and does add a lot to what a teacher can contribute to the classroom." Covington said.

State superintendent June Atkinson also released a statement saying, "for the first time in my career of more than 30 years in public education, I am truly worried about students in our care."

The state House tentatively approved the budget Tuesday afternoon. Final votes in both the House and Senate are expected Wednesday. 

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