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Thousands of North Carolina public school teachers march in Raleigh

Thousands of North Carolina public school teachers march in Raleigh

"We trust you teachers", Cooper told the crowd in Bicentennial Plaza. "You can't silence us all". "We have quite a voice and we will all have our voices heard in November".

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

A sea of teachers descended upon Raleigh, North Carolina, on Wednesday.

Nearby, Steven Davis, a teacher at Isaac Dickson Elementary School was finishing up a poster.

"This is nearly as big as my class size", one sign read.

"We are on track to spend over $2 billion more on K-12 in 2018-19 than was spent in 2010-2011", he said in a Twitter post.

Many bore the same message, like "Kids are worth more than 39th". Even most Republicans support these ideas.

NC State alum Alexandria Pitts ('15) teaches at Paw Creek Elementary School in Charlotte and is exhausted of hearing empty words of support from legislators. One Republican lawmaker said before Wednesday's event that "union thugs" were behind the rally.

"We have the power to mold the future", he said.

The #RallyForRespect goes beyond the scope of pay raises.

The rally is part of a national protest movement by teachers in conservative states demanding lawmakers increase pay and funding. "They are not paying them enough to be able to maintain a decent way of life".

Cooper also went on to say that this was more than about teacher's pay.

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Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, the second-largest district with 150,000 students, announced it would cancel classes because of the rally.

According to Amber Lynch, public information director for Wilson County Schools, some 273 teacher absences were noted Wednesday, but it isn't clear how many of those teachers attended the rally. "I think today was a success, and I look forward to what is to come". "We need more resources and we need more money. It's about getting resources for students and the things they need".

"I just believe that this is a show of solidarity", Letchworth said. "That's what is important".

Both Rep. Hardister and Rep. Harrison took time to meet with teachers from Guilford County ahead of the rally.

"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. "The recession hit our state hard".

Neither Cooper nor any of the other speakers mentioned that former Democratic Governor Perdue carried out deep cuts to school funding in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crash.

Pennington said some teachers can get better pay somewhere other than in the schools. "It's the children, and we have to have a heart for our children", he said.

In addition, teachers are asking for a reduction in class sizes and an increase in the number of school nurses, counselors and social workers to enhance community health. In April 2011, Perdue ordered an immediate 0.5 percent cut to teachers' wages, cutting annual education appropriations by hundreds of millions of dollars. "Their base pay coming out of college is so low that after taxes and benefits, they can't even afford to even pay rent or their student loans, so they leave". Among professions that require a four-year degree, teaching is one of the lowest-paid careers that a college graduate can pick. "I hope it really, truly does make a difference. But now it's time to fight", she said.

"It's awesome. It's wonderful", Kenely said. "We talked about education policy".

"Each county feels the same way", Barnes said. It's about the children that we work with every day. Teachers are photocopying assignments off the internet or from old workbooks because textbooks haven't been replenished in years, North Carolina Association of Educators President Mark Jewell said. "That's taking away from our households for our families", Barnes said.

- Create a multiyear pay plan for teachers, support staff, administrators and all other school personnel.


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