North Carolina teachers march for more education funding

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The state's most powerful politician said legislators will listen to protesting teachers as they do any constituent. 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. Don Davis, D-Pitt.

According to the North Carolina Association of Educators, North Carolina spends about $2,400 less than the national average per student and ranks 37 in the nation for teacher pay. The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, which looked at the percent change in K-12 funding from 2008 to 2015, adjusting for inflation, found that total state funding per student in North Carolina fell 12.2 percent since 2008. They want a $1.9 billion school construction bond approved to help renovate older buildings, Medicaid expansion for their students, stronger health insurance and pension protections, and an end to corporate tax cuts until school funding and pay are restored to national levels.

"We'd all rather be teaching today". The state spent $8.93 billion this year on education - the most in fifteen years - despite inheriting massive debt when they took over from Democrat-controlled legislature in 2011.

The lack of trust in public statements from both sides was evident. "I've been an educator for 29 years, all of that has been in Guilford County, and our teachers work hard and go above and beyond, often paying for resources out of pocket".

Teacher pay in North Carolina ranked 39th in the country previous year. There is a projected 6.3 percent increase for the 2018-19 school year.

The North Carolina educators say their top goal is to get legislators to increase annual per-pupil funding, which is now about $9,329, according to a 2018 report by the National Education Association. Dozens of current and former educators who protested this spring have filed to run for state office, and following the teacher walkout in Oklahoma, the president of state's largest teacher group announced it would shift its focus toward mobilizing and supporting pro-public education candidates in the November election.

The state's Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper was scheduled to address an afternoon teacher rally.

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Elmore says it may not be moving as fast as some would like but at least it is moving in the right direction; pointing out that he had firsthand knowledge of the pay struggles teachers have faced.

"I really feel like this is a part of their education - standing up and being active in a civic way", she said. "It's not, and shouldn't be, a partisan issue". So regardless of the party affiliation, what we are seeing from this movement is that citizens love their public schools.

- Create a multiyear pay plan for teachers, support staff, administrators and all other school personnel.

There were 14 House and seven Senate bills introduced Wednesday, majority associated with education.

"I think the General Assembly needs to respect public education", LaMaire said.

More than 20 years ago, North Carolina's Supreme Court ruled in the landmark Leandro v. State case that the state was bound by its Constitution to grant every child "an opportunity to receive a sound basic education". The common theme was having to work two or more jobs not just to support their own families but to buy classroom supplies.

Teachers told Brody that schools need more special education teachers and textbooks. "You can't silence us all". Join us in a conversation about world events, the newsgathering process or whatever aspect of the news universe you find interesting or important. They were they to show support for higher pay and better working conditions.

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