A recent report by the National Education Association ranks North Carolina 37th for teacher pay and 39th in per-pupil spending. Veteran teachers have lost their longevity pay which rewarded their experience and loyalty to the district. When adjusted to inflation, teachers in the state make less than they did a decade ago.
The rally is meant to be a kickoff for a campaign to get more candidates who support public education elected to the statehouse in November, when every seat in the state House and Senate is up for grabs.
Lawmakers have been criticized for approving billions in tax cuts while public school funds eroded.
"We're being asked every day to do way more with way less resources", Lauer said.
"Our substitute teachers are responding to the sub requests now", Stefanik said, referring to teachers' requests to have substitute teachers take over their classes that day. 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 numbers speak for themselves - and we're glad to have the opportunity to share North Carolina's success story and set the record straight", they said in a statement.
Teachers gather outside the Senate and House chambers during a teachers rally at the General Assembly in Raleigh, N.C., on May 16, 2018.
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The News and Observer in Raleigh reported that teachers are using a personal day or a vacation day to attend the event if their school district hasn't cancelled classes for the day.
Those promised raises are a long way from being finalized, however if crowd sizes come anywhere close to projections we suspect that the sight of all those teachers on Halifax Mall will be enough to cause die-hard penny pinchers on Jones street to get religion.
We hope that this demonstration will show our elected officials that we don't want the bare minimum, and we are not striving to be average. The pay scales we changed to cut in half the length of time it takes for teachers to reach the top of the pay scale, from 32 years, to fifteen.
Simmons said that if she gets the chance to speak to state legislators today, she'll tell them how hard teachers work. North Carolina also ranked 39th in terms of per-student spending, where students are allocated $2,313 less than the national average, which was $11,787 previous year.
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Over 44,000 N.C. teachers - nearly half the state's educators - have received at least a $10,000 raise since 2014. Teachers here are capitalizing on it. Republicans are clearly wary of it, especially in a year where progressives have shown across the country that they're willing to voice their unhappiness with their votes. They also spend their money in their classrooms purchasing supplies the district can not fund. We rank ninth out of the 12 states in the Southeast. The best. And the best comes when we pay those a wage that isn't extraordinary, but fair. "The plan must also stop the flat-lining of experienced educators' pay". And surprise, surprise, even though noticeably short on detail, they happily proclaimed that this budget would include pay raises for teachers and state employees.
Thousands of teachers from around the state marched through downtown to the Legislative Building, where the Republican-controlled legislature was starting its annual work session.
The NCGA sessions convened at noon.
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Lines to enter the legislature's front and rear entrances wrapped along the building's perimeter.
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