Thousands of NC teachers march for raises, school funding
Thousands of NC teachers march for raises, school funding
In North Carolina, Teacher Protest Exposes Rural-Urban Divide
17 May, 2018, 06:54
"I see students every day that can't afford clothes, lunch, etc...and I am the one buying it for them, along with several other fellow teachers", he said. The revolt started with striking teachers in West Virginia, who inspired their counterparts in Oklahoma and Arizona to form picket lines of their own.
Although the Wednesday rally is the only action of its kind now on the slate for North Carolina's teachers, both Wood and Speight said that it's "just the beginning" of the backlash coming to lawmakers when the polls open in November.
The state's main teacher advocacy group, the North Carolina Association of Educators, demands that legislators increase per-pupil spending to the national average in four years, increase school construction for a growing state, and approve a multiyear pay raise for teachers and school support staff that would raise incomes to the national average.
North Carolina teachers earn an average salary of about $50,000, ranking them 39th in the country previous year, the National Education Association reported last month. They said Republican leaders should be more concerned about doing more, given that North Carolina remains ranked in the low 30s for teacher pay nationwide. "North Carolina public school educators, parents, and our communities demand better for our students".
North Carolina teachers earn about $50,000 on average, ranking 39th in the country past year, the National Education Association reported last month.
Although the march and rally are primarily aimed at North Carolina's public education system, teachers from private and charter schools were in attendance as well. "It's been past time, but now is an opportunity to say we're going to stand with other teachers in other states", said Patrick, who teaches in Cumberland County, home to the Army's largest base at Fort Bragg. Wednesday's march in North Carolina prompted more than three-dozen school districts that educate more than two-thirds of the state's 1.5 million public school students to cancel class.
Numerous teachers who crowded into Raleigh Wednesday went inside and crowded into the opening of the legislature's short session. Join us in a conversation about world events, the newsgathering process or whatever aspect of the news universe you find interesting or important.
He says as they shape the minds of our young people, educators should be considered well-respected members of society and given resources, like a decent pension.
Teachers also are known for apples, and the Triangle might soon be as well. The gathering in uptown was a way for those teachers to still have their voices heard, she said.
"I don't know how many teachers showed up here today, but it's hard to imagine that so many would be willing to stay outside in the rain but not take a few minutes to vote months from now", Speight said.
Carolynn Phillips, a middle school arts teacher from coastal Brunswick County who was named the county's Teacher of the Year for 2018, called the protest a cry for respect from teachers whose pay ranks toward the bottom of USA states.
"We have no intention of raising taxes", Berger said ahead of the march.
"This legislature continues to put too much focus on cutting taxes for corporations instead of providing our public schools with the funding they need and deserve", Lowe said. They've had some salary increases in recent years, but when adjusted for inflation, they've lost 9.4% in pay since 2009.
N.C. Association of Educators leaders said they sent emails to legislators to encourage them to attend the rally, if for no other reason than the opportunity to speak to constituents in designated areas identified by county.
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