Robeson County schools to close Wednesday for rally in Raleigh

Credit KSDK

Credit KSDK

Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger criticized the rally, stating that teacher strikes are illegal in North Carolina. Kelly said her mom, a teacher's assistant in the same county, inspired her to become a teacher. "And that's what they got".

I am a retired teacher educator from Pennsylvania who has been concerned when my student teachers have moved to right-to-work states.

Moore and Berger mostly pointed to Democrats for the state's dismal teacher pay, calling out teacher furloughs and salary freezes imposed shortly after a nationwide recession sank state revenues in 2008. On the day of the march, Durham Public Schools will offer free breakfast and lunch to students at 13 schools.

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"Year after year our teachers are asked to do more with less".

The timing of Tuesday's announcement-one day before a large-scale teacher protest timed to coincide with lawmakers' return to session-will likely be seen as an effort to undercut protesting teachers. Working conditions like those in North Carolina explain why.

According to a post on the district's Facebook page, Wednesday will be an optional teacher workday to "allow those who wish to participate in the rally for public education in Raleigh on May 16th the flexibility to do so". The teachers have taken cues from the West Virginia, Oklahoma and Arizona strikes. "We're grossly underfunding our schools", he said. "But the fact a million kids will be out of school because a political organization wants to come have words with us is probably front and center on this".

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Some 42 school systems have announced the closure of institutions, the WRAL report disclosed.

Yet North Carolina teacher pay-which averages out just above $50,000, including local supplements and benefits- remains almost $10,000 below the national average and ranks 39th in the nation. "It's been past time, but now is an opportunity to say we're going to stand with other teachers in other states", said Patrick, who teaches in Cumberland County, home to the Army's largest base at Fort Bragg. They're planning to go to the May 16 protest in Raleigh together, along with at least 400 other teachers in the county and numerous parents and community supporters. That's why NC ranked #1 & #2 for teacher pay growth last 2 years. "The plan must also stop the flat-lining of experienced educators' pay".

"This plan must include restoration of compensation for advanced degrees and longevity", the state teachers group said. The rally is expected to host some 15,000 teachers. The House and Senate will convene at noon. Their late-afternoon rally is scheduled in front of the Legislative Building. 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.

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