School board gives back teacher assistants
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JACKSON, Tenn. — The Jackson-Madison County School Board voted Thursday night to bring back four teacher assistants at the Montessori School in Bemis. Previously, there were 18 teacher assistants, and 14 of those positions were eliminated. The new vote brings the total to eight. “We are very pleased, first of all that the superintendent and the school board are listening to the concerns of the community,” said Angie Roberts, parent and leader of the public school advocacy group JMCSS Strong. Superintendent Dr. Verna Ruffin said after talking to an attorney for the district, they determined adding the additional teacher assistants would keep the district within proper expenditures between the schools. Ruffin said improvements at other schools are coming as well. “I will continue to visit with the principals of the other schools, and I’ve already started that,” Ruffin said. But some board members think it is still not enough. Bob Alvey, who attended via Skype, said he thinks Ruffin is paying more attention to funding and not the impact on students. “I think the way we do define this is a pretty simplistic way, which doesn’t allow any problematic difference to be taken in consideration,” Alvey said. Board chairman Jim Campbell said the money for the positions will come from a budget amendment. There also is the possibility of private funding, but that would be left up to the school.