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North Carolina teachers demand better funding in large march

17 May 2018

"Together we say enough is enough", said Mark Jewell, president of the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE).

"And we're really anxious about the trend's going to continue that young teachers will come into the state and then we'll have a paucity of experienced teachers in the next 10 years as some of our more experienced teachers retire", Jenkins said. We were the leading beacon flame in the South.

She says they are all doing it for the kids.

GOP leaders say they've already funded an average of a 6.2 percent pay raise for teacher in next year's budget. Indeed, UNC system leaders reported a significant drop in those seeking teaching degrees in recent years, something that educators say could be addressed by better pay and benefits.

Republican lawmakers have pushed back. They're talking up pay increases they passed in recent years, proposed another raise next year, and even put up their own website - ncteacherraise.com.

Republican Sen. Bill Cook said after Wednesday's 30-minute opening of the state legislature's annual session he isn't swayed by the activism.

So, in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, we say to all of the hard-working teachers in America: walk it out.

The NCAE cited tax cuts which left the state with a 3 percent corporate tax rate while teacher pay is 37 in the US, and per pupil spending is lower than that.

"It's just unfortunate that what is happening is inconveniencing so many students - about a million students are missing a day of school", Senate leader Phil Berger said.

Tracy Brumble, a teacher at Milbrook Magnet Elementary School in Raleigh, was with about a dozen fellow teachers at the school waiting for a bus to carry them to the march's starting point Wednesday.

The North Carolina Association of Educators says they will turn their focus to the November election. She said lawmakers and state government have let teachers down by failing to equip them properly to do their job. 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, but that still represents a 9.4 percent slide in real income since 2009 due to inflation, the NEA said.

Hopefully, these walkouts will encourage legislators in other states to take preemptive action so that more teachers don't have to take to the streets to provide world-class education for their students. Cooper said money should also be allocated for textbooks and help for teachers who shell out for classroom supplies. She says teachers are asked to teach 21st century skills, but without a 21st century budget.

One of those SHS teachers was Kelly Cheek, who teaches sign language and teacher cadets, and was the 2016-17 Teacher of the Year at Scotland High School.

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. The governor's plan, which will likely struggle to find traction in the Republican-dominated legislature, would include an average eight percent raise for teachers, with no educators receiving less than a five percent bump. And he has an idea where to get it - by canceling a planned tax cut for corporations and people making more than $200,000 a year.

"They are scheduled to get yet another one next year-about $110 million worth". "I work with teacher cadets, future teachers, and that's why I'm here to ensure the career field is viable and flourishing". "You are seeing more money being spent on digital as opposed to the traditional textbooks". There was another goal - respect.

"I've seen so many posts on social media about how lazy we are and how we're just takers and we want a raise, we don't care about the kids".

Tiffany Pfouts, an arts teacher at Mills Park Middle School in Cary, said simple needs such as building repairs at her school have been neglected.

"We need our legislators to start focusing on classrooms and not on corporate boardrooms", Jewell said.

Once inside, some teachers were seeking to meet with lawmakers, while others were trying to get seats in the gallery to watch legislative debate. Additionally, in September, educators will receive an step up in salary based on their experience, a 2.5 percent cost of living increase and a monthly $50 stipend towards the district's health insurance premium contribution.

North Carolina teachers demand better funding in large march