Thousands of NC teachers march for raises, school funding

Thousands of NC teachers march for raises, school funding

All have said that lawmakers have failed to adequately pay teachers and provide necessities for education.

Some of the impetus and expectations for the opening-day rally likely were drawn from similar teacher protest rallies in Arizona, Kentucky, Oklahoma and West Virginia.

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper spoke at a rally across the street, promoting his proposal to pay for higher salaries by blocking tax cuts that Republicans made a decision to give corporations and high-income households next January.

North Carolina Association of Educators President Mark Jewell was in the House gallery.

As thousands of people marched outside the General Assembly in Raleigh, Governor Roy Cooper showed his support for helping teachers.

While the state ranks 39th among states for average teacher salary in the most recent report by the National Education Association, it has seen some of the highest percent increases in recent years, they said.

Barbara Faulkner, a 38-year-old English teacher at South Granville High School who makes $53,000 per year, said her house went into foreclosure because she had planned for a seniority-based raise plan that was stopped a decade ago.

"According to the NEA, North Carolina Ranked #2 in the U.S. for fastest rising teacher pay in 2017", Republican Senator Phil Berger, president pro tempore, said in a comment on Twitter posted during the march.

"You can't have a strong economy and attract employers with good-paying jobs without a well-educated workforce continuously coming from a pipeline of our students", Davis said.

While thousands of teachers and educators convened at the state Legislature in Raleigh on Wednesday, Simmons joined educators in the Charlotte region who stood in solidarity by having a demonstration of their own.

Miss North Carolina Victoria Huggins sang the National Anthem to open the session.

The one-day labor action caused numerous school districts across the state to cancel classes for more than 1 million students.

Conrad expressed disappointment that she had heard from just three teacher constituents by email about wanting to meet with her Wednesday, as well as few walk-in visitors, even though the main teacher rally was occurring just yards outside her office.

"We need to have sufficient resources for these babies".

"We have no intention of raising taxes", Berger said before the march, complaining that "a million kids are not going to be in school (Wednesday) because a political organization wants to have folks come" to the legislature.

But not all of them could make it.

First-grade teacher Elise Robertson was working in her classroom with the help of her daughter Sophia Broverman, a second-grader in neighboring Davidson County Schools.

"We are on track to spend over $2 billion more on K-12 in 2018-19 than was spent in 2010-2011", he said in a Twitter post.

The website also stipulates five demands from elected leaders, including an increase in per-pupil spending, a "multi-year professional pay plan" for teachers, an increased number of mental and physical health professionals in schools, and moderated class sizes.

But with the Great Recession in the past and the state's financial stability restored, teachers say it's time to catch up on deferred school spending.

State lawmakers have already approved an average 6 percent raise for teachers next year. That increase will bring the average teacher pay to more than $53,000, not accounting for local supplements, benefits or bonuses, he said.

"They need to start investing in the public school classroom instead of corporate boardrooms".

Conrad said she had supported public-school education her whole life.

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