North Carolina teachers march for more education funding

North Carolina teachers march for more education funding

North Carolina teachers march for more education funding

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.

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.

Democratic Governor Roy Cooper praised teachers for their roles with children and spoke about his budget plan, which includes ending tax cuts for businesses and wealthy families so the state would have more money for teachers' salaries and school repairs.

According to the National Education Association, North Carolina ranks 39th among the 50 states for average teacher salary, well behind the USA average of $58,353 in 2016. The school system made it an optional workday for teachers and most elementary schools, including Jones, opened for students for all-day ACES, the school system's after-school program.

The March for Students and Rally for Respect, as protesters have called the event, was organized by the North Carolina Association of Educators.

"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.

The same report says North Carolina also ranks 39th in per-student spending - about $2,313 less per student than the national average of $11,642.

According to the National Education Association, the average starting salary for teachers during the 2016 - 2017 school year, in North Carolina is about $37,514.

Teachers and reporters posted photos, videos, and updates from Raleigh with the hashtags #RedforEd, #RedforEdNC, and #NCTeacherRally.

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This year, the average North Carolina teacher made about $50,000, up almost 2 percent from last year but still some $9,600 short of the national average. 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.

Wednesday's rally is part of a national trend.

We were told the event was not just about money.

But not all of them could make it.

Advocates at the NCAE called for legislators to invest in school nurses, counselors, and social workers, expand the state's per-pupil spending, and improve school infrastructure and lower student classroom counts, among other demands.

The 38-year-old said her concerns go beyond teacher pay to basic school needs that go unfunded. "My mom was a teacher and back in the 90s, she said that she had to do this and about every 20 years, you kind of need to get people's attention cause it just gets put on the back burner so much". "We're grossly underfunding our schools", he said. And planned raises for educators this year will make five in a row since state finances rebounded from the shock of a recession a few years ago, legislators said. "But how do we pay for it?" said Cooper in a speech to the crowd. Their pay increased by 4.2 percent over the previous year - the second-biggest increase in the country - and was estimated to rise an average 1.8 percent this year, the NEA said.

Jewell said teachers don't really expect GOP lawmakers to meet all their demands, which is why they are also urging voters to not re-elect them.

Amy Buchen, a first-grade educator at Brassfield Elementary School in Raleigh, says she was amazed by the huge community that formed in the wake of this morning's protests.

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