Charlotte Talks: Teacher Protest Wave Hits NC

People inside the North Carolina state Capitol in Raleigh look out a window upon the teachers' march Wednesday. Educators school workers and parents joined the protests to push for greater school funding

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

Hester said North Carolina's teachers are fed up.

A massive rally expected to draw as many as 10,000 public school teachers and their supporters to Raleigh this week in support of higher pay and better working conditions for educators is not expected to have much of an impact on area school districts.

Sabrina Peacock: This is my 24th year of teaching in Guilford County Schools. Educators claim this rally would be unnecessary if our lawmakers had adequately funded teachers and public schools. We've done these things over and over and over again.

- Charlotte-Mecklenburg teachers and the North Carolina Association of Educators held a town hall at the Morrison Regional Library in South Park this Monday in preparation for Wednesday's march at the state capitol.

Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger criticized the rally, stating that teacher strikes are illegal in North Carolina.

Danis believes this rally on Wednesday is only the beginning of the conversation that goes beyond teacher pay. The average Tar Heel knows teachers are underpaid, aging school buildings are in a state of decay, classes are overcrowded and class supplies often come courtesy of educators' own pocketbooks. Better pay and increased school funding are at the top of their list of wants. I think it could.

Camden County Schools Superintendent Joe Ferrell likewise said Camden has only one teacher who's requested any type of leave on Wednesday.

I want you to see what the people who are educating your children are being paid. "I feel like this is something that I'm becoming more passionate about, because I'm realizing the impact that it has". North Carolina remains a purple state, and education policies need buy-in on both sides of the aisle in order to survive the Republican-led legislature's bill graveyard and the Democratic governor's veto stamp. He wrote a blog post on April 13 naming North Carolina as one of the possible states at risk for teacher action. "Teachers are getting bigger pay increases than any other state employees".

Education and health care workers, McAlevey says, have an advantage over the factory workers of previous generations when it comes to building a broader political and social movement. In the 1920s and 1930s, the textile workers of North and SC waged heroic struggles in Gastonia and other mill towns against sweatshop exploitation and to end the scourge of child labor. "We have to do something to let them know that we're watching and we're exhausted". Over the past five years enrollment in teacher-education programs has dropped by 30 percent. The two sat down to talk about the many cuts they have seen through the years, and why they plan to march. Add to that the challenges of trying to focus misbehaving children and adjusting to constantly shifting demands and it adds up to what feels like underappreciated work, she said. "We teach them you can't be out there looting, you can't be out there destroying stuff - no one is going to listen to you - that peaceful protest is the way to go". Teachers have some leverage that they haven't had in the past, and I see them becoming more inclined to use it because they're exhausted of platitudes. We have done everything that has been asked of us, and then some. "The people who are writing Letters of Recommendation", he said.

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