'We vote!' North Carolina teachers walk out for higher pay

'We vote!' North Carolina teachers walk out for higher pay

'We vote!' North Carolina teachers walk out for higher pay

"What I'd say to the ones that really think they're giving us enough, is it's not about us". Buoyed by the success of the West Virginia strike, teachers in Kentucky, Oklahoma and Arizona soon followed suit, closing down schools and flooding their state capitals to call for more funding.

It would raise teacher salaries by putting a stop to planned tax cuts for corporations and high income households.

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.

About 15,000 teachers are marching through Raleigh today, as the Republican-dominated state legislature begins its annual session.

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".

"According to the NEA, North Carolina Ranked #2 in the United States for fastest rising teacher pay in 2017", Republican Senator Phil Berger, president pro tempore, said in a comment on Twitter posted during the march. "What we've tried to do is put it into play in such a way that we reward people for doing a good job", Cook said. It also wants the state to institute higher pay for teachers with advanced degrees and long tenures and to hire an additional 500 school nurses and counselors for the current school year. North Carolina state representative Mark Brody (R) posted on Facebook that teachers "choose to inconvenience" parents by rallying.

Teacher pay in North Carolina ranked 39th in the country previous year.

More than three dozen school districts that together educate more than two-thirds of the state's 1.5 million public school students have made a decision to close classrooms to allow for the show of strength by the teachers and their advocacy group.

He said Wednesday's rally was one of the largest he's seen in those 30 years.

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Lowe said solutions need to include "shifting some resources toward the schools and being much better stewards of taxpayer money".

Wood echoed the sentiment and said that in his district, students had gone so far as to organize voter registration rallies for seniors turning 18 this year so that they could help in the efforts to vote out incumbent politicians who vote against teachers' interests.

"We have no intention of raising taxes", Berger said before the march, complaining that "a million kids are not going to be in school (Wednesday) because a political organization wants to have folks come" to the legislature.

The website also stipulates five demands from elected leaders, including an increase in per-pupil spending, a "multi-year professional pay plan" for teachers, an increased number of mental and physical health professionals in schools, and moderated class sizes.

"It's about respect, it's personal, it's about real investment in our schools", he said.

And with the state's finances stabilized after the Great Recession, teachers say it's time to catch up on deferred school spending.

N.C. Association of Educators leaders said they sent emails to legislators to encourage them to attend the rally, if for no other reason than the opportunity to speak to constituents in designated areas identified by county. "I know certainly at my school, so many young new teachers are only lasting two, three, at the max four years before they go into a new career".

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

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