NC teachers want better salaries; prepare for May 16 rally

Demanding respect, thousands of teachers and students swarm North Carolina capital

Mark Jewell, president of the North Carolina Association of Educators, said up to 15,000 teachers and thousands of more students and their parents are joining in the all-day rally at the state Capitol in Raleigh. Other Republicans, including House speaker Tim Moore, went with the well-worn approach of smearing the march as a "union" effort, even though there is no functioning teacher's union in our state.

Teachers say that they intend to mobilize and keep a focus on legislators now backtracking on their promises.

CHCCS spokesperson Jeff Nash said that school administrators were aware of these needs and took them into consideration when deciding whether or not to have a school closing. "And that's what they got".

North Carolina teachers earn an average salary of about $50,000, ranking them 39th in the country a year ago, the National Education Association reported last month.

"If you can believe that and look at the snapshot of my paycheck and not become infuriated that those of us who offer so much of ourselves for your children are being paid next to nothing, than we have already lost the battle".

According to the Department of Public Instruction, North Carolina teachers with 10 years experience make around $40,555 per year.

The rally is meant to be a kickoff for a campaign to get more candidates who support public education elected to the statehouse in November, when every seat in the state House and Senate is up for grabs. That increase will bring the average teacher pay to more than $53,000, not accounting for local supplements, benefits or bonuses, he said.

Some lawmakers have criticized teachers for their one-day rally. Then every four years, the politicians who take advantage of their generous nature and professionalism show up at schools to get their pictures taken with them and their students and talk about the importance of education. The day will start with a march at 10 a.m. and conclude with a rally at 3:30 p.m.

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

You see, in a way, I did protest in response to my frustrations with public district schools when I chose to co-found a public charter school.

"I got all this off the National Education Association site last night, and seeing this I had to come down", she said. Three of the state's largest school districts are closed as a result of teachers leaving school, including Wake County Public School System, which has 160,000 students, according to the Associated Press. The pay scales we changed to cut in half the length of time it takes for teachers to reach the top of the pay scale, from 32 years, to fifteen.

Our hope is that the legislators will understand how important this is and will really put forth action behind what they say when they say education is important.

The National Education Association estimates that North Carolina's average teacher salary is $9,622 below the national average and per-pupil spending is $2,406 below the national average. Collective bargaining by public employees is illegal in many states, as are public employee strikes.

Thousands of teachers have gathered in front of the North Carolina Legislative Building where the route of their march ends. "The plan must also stop the flat-lining of experienced educators' pay".

Over the past several months, hundreds of thousands of teachers and support staff have engaged in statewide walkouts in West Virginia, Oklahoma and Arizona, and other strikes and protests in Kentucky, Colorado, New Jersey and many other states, plus the USA territory of Puerto Rico.

"We've heard people like Gov. (Roy) Cooper push for a return to the same failed approach that required the furloughing of teachers and the freezing of their salaries by Democrats when they were last in control", said Berger Tuesday in a press conference ahead of the rally.

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