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Concerns expressed about money for substitutes

With the projected loss of 19 teacher assistants from the county’s three schools, one of the speakers at Tuesday night’s public hearing on Mathews County Public Schools’ $12.34 million budget urged the school board to set aside enough money to hire substitute teachers.

Rebecca Ethington, a first grade teacher assistant at Lee-Jackson Elementary School and the mother of two children in the school system, said that at the start of the month, school employees were notified that there was no money left in this year’s budget for substitute teachers.

This has happened for several years, even with teacher assistants frequently doing double duty, filling in as substitutes. "But next year you’re not going to have us," she said. At the elementary level, classes can be combined. And while placing 40 children in one class for a day is far from ideal, she said, this isn’t even an option at Thomas Hunter Middle School or Mathews High School with th...

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