Teachers demand higher pay, more school funding

Credit Pixabay- Wokandapix via Creative Commons

Credit Pixabay- Wokandapix via Creative Commons

"We're wearing these to support students and teachers", Broverman said, surprising her mother, who said they had not even discussed the shirts yet.

The protest was the latest in a wave of actions and strikes this year by teachers in states including West Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arizona and Colorado who feel lawmakers have failed to adequately pay teachers and provide for schools.

Educators across the state walked out of schools and gathered for a rally in Raleigh in hopes that lawmakers will hear their calls for higher pay and funding for classroom resources they say have been diminished by a decade of cuts while major corporations have gotten tax breaks. He said he will put in an extra $112 million to the state's budget.

Cheryl Burford is a music teacher at Clyde Erwin Elementary Magnet School of International Studies and Cultural Arts in Onslow County.

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. Currently, the average teacher pay in N.C.is just over $51,000 annually, plus available bonuses based on student performance and bonuses for STEM teachers, and approximately $16,000 in benefits.

North Carolina teachers earn an average salary of about $50,000, ranking them 39th in the country previous year, the National Education Association reported last month.

"We have other districts and states recruiting NC teachers, so we can't compete", Powell said.

According to data on the National Education Association website, for 2016-2017 the national average starting teacher salary was $38,617.

More than three dozen school districts - from the 10 largest to numerous smaller districts in rural areas - that together educate more than two-thirds of the state's 1.5 million public school students are closed Wednesday.

Numerous teachers who crowded into Raleigh Wednesday went inside and crowded into the opening of the legislature's short session.

Israel welcomes U.S. delegation ahead of Jerusalem embassy move
Fifty-four Palestinians have been killed in protests and clashes since March 30 along the Gaza Strip's border with Israel. Israel seized East Jerusalem , together with the rest of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, in the 1967 Middle East war.

"We need to have sufficient resources for these babies". The Republican-dominated legislature should expand Medicaid coverage so students and their families stay healthy, and cancel corporate tax cuts until school spending is increased, Jewell said.

Simmons said that if she gets the chance to speak to state legislators today, she'll tell them how hard teachers work.

The 38-year-old said her concerns go beyond teacher pay to basic school needs that go unfunded.

"We are now about $2,400 below the national average in how we fund our public school children", Jewell said at a news conference in Raleigh earlier this week.

"All of this will be fruitless unless we take this energy and passion to the ballot box and change those who are making the policy", Jewell said.

The demands of their main advocacy group, the North Carolina Association of Educators, include raising per-pupil spending and pay for teachers and support staff to the national average, and increasing school construction to match the state's population growth.

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

The members say that they had a good story to share with teachers in addition to the five consecutive pay raises. "They deserve safe schools and schools that are not crumbling and in disrepair".

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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