Wednesday, 16 January, 2019

Teachers who can't make Raleigh rally show support from uptown Charlotte

Demanding respect, thousands of teachers and students swarm North Carolina capital In North Carolina, Teacher Protest Exposes Rural-Urban Divide
Deanna Wagner | 17 May, 2018, 04:18

According to the National Education Association, North Carolina's teachers ranked 39th in average teacher pay past year, with an average salary of $49,970.

The teachers walked from the North Carolina Association of Educators office to the North Carolina State Legislative Building. All have said that lawmakers have failed to adequately pay teachers and provide necessities for education.

The march follows months of teacher unrest around the country. We've done these things over and over and over again.

"Our students deserve better", the group said in a statement.

Buncombe County and Asheville City Schools announced an optional teacher workday on Wednesday, May 16.

"These human shields as I call them, have been incredibly important because they have changed the subject in a way that we have not been able to do since the recession about the importance of investment in public schools", said Randi Weingarten, president of the 1.9 million-member American Federation of Teachers.

"We want to talk not just about compensation, but giving more resources to teachers who are asked to do so much more than teach", Phillips said after meeting with lawmakers. That's because his four boys attend the state's largest school district in and around Raleigh, which has canceled classes for a day.

"It's hard to teach when we don't have the supplies that we need, when we don't have the curriculum in place in time", Ann Simmons, an elementary school teacher in Raleigh, told WTVD-TV.

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"What has happened is that [the media] has had to report the individual stories of some of the thousands of people that have been in these capitals and that's why I call them human shields, because they have been a shield for kids", said Weingarten.

"I got all this off the National Education Association site last night, and seeing this I had to come down", she said. She feels like it's her duty to stand up for her students, she added.

"It's encouraging, I think our education system has been eroded", Michael Whitley, Durham Middle School teacher said. "I feel like this is something that I'm becoming more passionate about, because I'm realizing the impact that it has".

Wearing red and with messages such as "Respect Public Education" on their shirts and signs, as many as 15,000 teachers from around the state were expected to participate in the march starting at 10:30 a.m. Police were already posted along the route through downtown to the General Assembly, where predominantly Republican lawmakers were beginning their annual session the same day. 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. A pay increase to get our teachers at least to the national average hardly seems unreasonable.

It was then, in 2013, that the seed was planted for a grassroots education movement, Warren said. According to the president of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Association of Educators, seven buses were paid for by a private donation and through CMAE budget. They've had some salary increases in recent years, but when adjusted for inflation, they've lost 9.4% in pay since 2009. However, I have not accumulated enough personal leave as yet because I'm new to the country. "Public education is the economy in North Carolina".

"We did not take that away for any teacher who had that". For the past 11 years, she's worked as an elementary school music teacher in Fayetteville, a city in the southeastern part of the state near Fort Bragg. In West Virginia the teachers strike won a 5% raise for all state workers. Kelly said her mom, a teacher's assistant in the same county, inspired her to become a teacher.

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.