Teachers join thousands of NC educators marching to Capitol

16 May, 2018, 16:14 | Author: Donnie King
  • Demanding respect, thousands of teachers and students swarm North Carolina capital

The rally recently follows teacher protests and even strikes and walkouts in several other states. "I ask that you support them in their decision to highlight the needs of their profession and your children". Besides aged computer equipment at school, none of them have brought home a textbook all year, with teachers instead handing out worksheets to glue into their notebooks.

"The teacher union could've chosen to do this in a few weeks when school is out".

Yet North Carolina teacher pay-which averages out just above $50,000, including local supplements and benefits- remains almost $10,000 below the national average and ranks 39th in the nation. Kelly said her mom, a teacher's assistant in the same county, inspired her to become a teacher. Better pay is one of the teachers' demands, but it's hardly their only focal point. While teacher pay is rising in the state, stats published last week by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that North Carolina is [one of the three worst states for teacher pay] (https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2018/a-look-at-teacher-pay-across-the-united-states-in-2017.htm), not far ahead of Oklahoma.

"An analysis by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy finds North Carolina would have $3.5 billion more in annual revenue if lawmakers had not changed the tax system that was in place in 2013". Not one who has moved to your state earns a living wage on a teaching salary.

Legislators, now is the time to adjust spending on education.

Demanding respect, thousands of teachers and students swarm North Carolina capital
North Carolina teachers converge on state capitol demanding pay raise, better resources

Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger criticized the rally, stating that teacher strikes are illegal in North Carolina. For the past 5 years, educators like him have been painstakingly organizing North Carolina, and now their efforts are bearing fruit. This plan must include restoration of compensation for advanced degrees and longevity. "The plan must also stop the flat-lining of experienced educators' pay". Test scores take precedence over learning through current textbooks, effective class sizes and well-maintained school buildings.

Berger also blamed "politically motivated rhetoric and misinformation" for criticism of lawmakers' public school decisions. With 160,429 students, it is the largest school district to cancel classes May 16.

Johnson said last week he "absolutely" supports teachers but won't attend the rally because it's on a school day and will affect students, parents and other school workers who are forced to deal with schools closing that day.

"Many teachers and staff are requesting leave on May 16th and there is a shortage of available substitutes to cover the anticipated teacher absences", the post read in part. On the day of the march, Durham Public Schools will offer free breakfast and lunch to students at 13 schools.



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