North Carolina Teachers’ One-Day Walkout, 5/16/2018
Dear Friends & Neighbors,
(Please click on red links & note magenta)
Over fifteen thousand of North Carolina teachers rallied at the legislative building at Raleigh today, calling for better pay, benefits, and more state funding per student. More than twenty-seven (about thirty-eight) school districts were closed due to this scheduled one-day walkout. Teachers marched from the North Carolina Association for Teachers building to the legislative building this morning, packing the third floor galleries before the Legislature reconvened at noon. Many of these teachers wore red shirts for this is the color adopted by many protesting educators in other states as well. They marched with signs such as “Fund Our Future“, “We Vote in November“, and “Superheroes Should Not Need 3 Jobs.” These teachers-demonstrators held a Rally for Respect around 3:30 pm in a plaza near the legislative building.
According to the state legislators, these teachers have received pay raises in the past four years and will also receive 6% raise in the coming year. But these teachers claimed that it’s more than just about pay raises, but also for teachers’ assistants, better textbooks and technology, and more counselors for their students. Many teachers also feel that salary increases were needed to makeup for freezes during the recession and to mitigate what teachers had to spend on classroom supplies. With a rank around 37 or 39 among the 50 states in terms of average state teachers’ salary, it is understandable why these teachers were trying to ask for increase of their salary to the national average.
Other than the fact that North Carolina teachers had a scheduled one-day walkout while other states’ teachers had multi-day walkout, the Wednesday march and rally at Raleigh followed similar teachers’ protests in West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Arizona. The walk out makes North Carolina the sixth state in which teachers’ have publicly protested to bring attention to the state of education in the country.
Let’s have a better understanding behind the support and motivation behind North Carolina teachers’ walkout, video below:
Gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker
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