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Rally today in Cabarrus for teacher assistants

CONCORD -- Local and state officials are scheduled to participate in a rally Wednesday afternoon in Concord, to call attention to the layoffs of 129 teacher assistants in the Cabarrus County Schools.

The layoffs were announced last week. School officials in Cabarrus County said they were forced to cut staffing as a result of cuts in education spending by the state.

Gov. Pat McCrory is cutting $234 million from the state budget for education spending, and that includes $2.3 million in Cabarrus County.

The rally is planned for 4:30 p.m. at Dorton Park, 5790 Poplar Tent Road. It is sponsored by Public Schools First NC, an advocacy group for public schools across the state.

Among those taking part Wednesday is Bob Etheridge, a former state superintendent of public schools and Congressman. Also scheduled to speak are Elizabeth Fitzwater, president of the Cabarrus County Association of Teaching Assistants; and Dede Wishon, a teacher assistant at Furr Elementary School in Concord. Wishon is among the 129 assistants whose last day will be June 14.

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