Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Entertaiment | By Paul Elliott

Gov. Cooper shows support of teachers during Raleigh rally

Gov. Cooper shows support of teachers during Raleigh rally

Tens of thousands of public school teachers and students wearing #RedForEd T-shirts marched in the streets of North Carolina's capital today, surrounding the state General Assembly building in a powerful show of solidarity for increased education funding.

Teaching is his passion, he said, but it can be stressful, too, at times, to live paycheck to paycheck. The protest follows walkouts in West Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Colorado and Arizona.

"It was powerful to see so many educators from across the state come together in support of students and advocating for the improvement of public education", Setubal said.

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

"They keep giving tiny raises and taking so much away from the kids", said Holdridge, who came to the Legislative Building ahead of the march to lobby legislators.

But the typical N.C. teacher is paid almost $10,000 less than the national average.

"We run 90-minute blocks", says Matchett, who teaches fifth-grade at Jesse Wharton Elementary School in Greensboro.

"I enjoyed trying to be a part of his education", she said. "Because the elite don't want to give up their money".

The NCAE transformed the protest into an unofficial Democratic Party election rally.

As their fellow teachers and supporters marched through the streets of Raleigh, some teachers held down the fort back home.

"We want to make sure everything is up to date".

Between 2008 and 2015, Cooper's predecessors, Democrat Beverly Perdue and Republican Pat McCrory, slashed state school spending by 12.2 percent.

According to the National Education Association, the average starting salary for teachers during the 2016 - 2017 school year, in North Carolina is about $37,514.

Rep. Harrison says money that's been budgeted for corporate tax cuts should be going toward schools. Cooper's response was to propose an increase in the state's regressive sales tax. And so there were cuts, which was to be expected, and our public schools have not rebounded from that. Teachers' wages have declined by nine percent since 2009, after adjustment for inflation. "It's an older school, so mold in our buildings is unbelievable". Despite 22 years' experience, she said she drives for Uber to make ends meet. "If that's what we have to do to draw people's attention, we will".

The rally in Raleigh is just the latest in a wave of teacher uprisings this year. "I was working 60 hours a week and it was killing me". "You are not getting the best teachers because you are not paying the best salaries".

The NCAE has followed the strategy used by the National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers in each previous strike. Blust told educators about some things he agreed on and took the time to explain how things work in the legislature. Wade is a Republican who also represents Guilford County.

In fact, the teachers' rebellions have erupted in these states precisely because this is where the unions' grip over teachers is weakest. "We vote!" and "This is What Democracy Looks Like!" "No one wants to pay for a four-year degree if they're going to pay us little enough to need multiple jobs, even just to buy supplies for classrooms". "We haven't purchased new textbooks in over a decade since the recession".

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

In the first three months of the year alone these corporations have spent $158 billion on stock buybacks, which only benefit the richest shareholders and executives.

The demands of their main advocacy group, the N.C. 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.

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