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Thousands of NC teachers march for raises, school funding

Thousands of NC teachers march for raises, school funding

They have also won concrete economic gains in terms of pay rises in states like West Virginia, Oklahoma and Arizona. Wednesday's march in Raliegh prompted more than three-dozen school districts - including Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools - that educate more than two-thirds of the state's 1.5 million public school students to cancel classes.

City blocks turned red, the color of shirts worn by marchers chanting "We care!"

Williams is in his 30th year of education and is a member of Vance County's Association of Educators. The NCAE says that the amount of money legislators spend per student is over $3,000 below the national average.

"We are seeing a reduction in the number of new teachers entering the field and especially entering the small districts", Pennington said.

Williams said he's seen instructional assistants cut to covering four classrooms at once. But others, like "Fair pay now", took a more stern approach.

Davis said she makes only $32,000 a year and works on the weekend as a waitress at a sports bar to help afford supplies for her students.

"We need to have sufficient resources for these babies". While the initiative for the strikes has come from rank-and-file teachers, the unions have shut down and betrayed each struggle without meeting any of teachers' main demands, declaring that the only way for teachers to fight for improved wages and conditions is to "remember in November", i.e., vote for Democrats. "Our classrooms are falling apart, the building doesn't get cleaned on a regular basis because we don't have funds to clean it".

Malinda Pennington, who now works at Rocky Mount High School and used to work in Wilson County Schools as an exceptional children program specialist, was in the mass of teachers.

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Myers grew up in OH and is the son of a teacher. Lindsay Harris, a Johnston County teacher agreed.

"It's racially diverse. There's free lunches, a lot great kids, supportive parents, wonderful people working inside a district that doesn't have the resources it needs", Myers said.

"They need our support and teachers need our support", Letchworth said.

Being in Raleigh, she said, was important not just for her, but for her students as well - and she wants legislators to listen. "This semester, one of my former students approached me and pulled out her AP history book smiling because my name was in the front cover". "It seems like more support is going toward other options when our public schools serve all children, whether they are low-income or have special needs or if they are incredibly talented and gifted, we support them all and we need to support our public schools". The sessions were put into recess until 10 a.m. today, after the vast majority of teachers have returned to their classrooms.

A sea of teachers descended upon Raleigh, North Carolina, on Wednesday.

The teachers' group favors a proposal by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper to raise salaries by stopping planned tax cuts on corporations and high-income households. GOP leaders have flatly rejected his idea.

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. But according to the National Education Association, North Carolina ranks 37th in the country in teacher pay and 39th in per-pupil spending. That increase will bring the average teacher pay to more than $53,000, not accounting for local supplements, benefits or bonuses, he said. After bank bailouts and Trump's tax cuts, giant USA banks and corporations, including Charlotte-based Bank of America, are sitting on a $2.2 trillion cash hoard-nearly four times what the federal and all state governments spend on public education each year. They've had some salary increases in recent years, but when adjusted for inflation, they've lost 9.4% in pay since 2009.


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