Republicans pledge teacher raises ahead of Wednesday's rally in Raleigh

Republicans pledge teacher raises ahead of Wednesday's rally in Raleigh

The Public Schools of Robeson County will close for students on Wednesday, May 16, in conjunction with the rally for public education in Raleigh. An earlier news report estimated that almost 100,000 students - or 64% of public school students in the state - would be out of school for the day, but as more districts opted to close, those figures have grown.

The rally recently follows teacher protests and even strikes and walkouts in several other states. The resulting pressure led legislators in each state to improve pay, benefits or overall school funding.

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. "I feel like our teachers have been good teachers". Like West Virginia and other states where teachers have taken to the streets, North Carolina is overwhelmingly controlled by Republicans. Better pay is one of the teachers' demands, but it's hardly their only focal point.

"I support their cause". "I think they're entitled to that". "Don't cancel a day of school", Irvin said.

Irvin said he thinks his children are receiving a lackluster education. For the past 11 years, she's worked as an elementary school music teacher in Fayetteville, a city in the southeastern part of the state near Fort Bragg. Parents like him also are given lists of classroom supplies they're expected to buy, which Irvin considers a hidden tax. The ultimate goal, according to the North Carolina Association of Educators, is to elect more pro-public education leaders in North Carolina. "Despite having the polling data that [shows] across partisan lines, people support public education, we're still seeing these really low funding levels". "We're grossly underfunding our schools", he said.

The same report says North Carolina also ranks 39th in per-student spending - about $2,313 less per student than the national average of $11,642.

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"An analysis by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy finds North Carolina would have $3.5 billion more in annual revenue if lawmakers had not changed the tax system that was in place in 2013". The "purple" state briefly swung blue for Barack Obama in 2008, but soon after, Republicans swept the state legislature and later solidified their supermajority. Personal days and vacation days come with pay.

Legislators, now is the time to adjust spending on education.

He ended the post by thanking teachers who aren't planning to participate in the rally, saying they are the one who "stand up to the bullies and self serving thugs of the Teachers Union and believe in showing up for work".

Moore told reporters the 6.2% raise represents the fifth year teacher pay has increased in North Carolina.

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