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Offbeat Thousands of North Carolina teachers set to rally over pay

09:46  16 may  2018
09:46  16 may  2018 Source:   msn.com

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Thousands of teachers are set to hit the streets of North Carolina 's capital on Wednesday, determined to force a political showdown over wages and funding

RALEIGH, N . C . (AP) — Thousands of teachers are set to hit the streets of North Carolina 's capital on Wednesday, determined to force a As many as 15,000 teachers were expected to defy forecasts of rain for a rally in Raleigh as the Republican-dominated state legislature begins its annual session.

FILE - In a Monday, April 2, 2018 file photo, a crowd listens to speakers on a stage, lower right, during a teacher rally to protest low student funding at the state Capitol in Oklahoma City. Tens of thousands of North Carolina teachers are heading to North Carolina's Capitol to call for better pay. A rally on Wednesday, May 16, 2018, the day lawmakers return to the General Assembly, has closed thousands of schools in a state where teacher pay ranks 39th in the nation and where lawmakers have been fighting about how to give them raises. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In a Monday, April 2, 2018 file photo, a crowd listens to speakers on a stage, lower right, during a teacher rally to protest low student funding at the state Capitol in Oklahoma City. Tens of thousands of North Carolina teachers are heading to North Carolina's Capitol to call for better pay. A rally on Wednesday, May 16, 2018, the day lawmakers return to the General Assembly, has closed thousands of schools in a state where teacher pay ranks 39th in the nation and where lawmakers have been fighting about how to give them raises. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

RALEIGH, N.C. — Thousands of teachers are set to hit the streets of North Carolina's capital on Wednesday, determined to force a political showdown over wages and funding priorities for public school classrooms in this conservative, tax-cutting state.

North Carolina teachers rally for more funds in latest U.S. school walk-out

  North Carolina teachers rally for more funds in latest U.S. school walk-out Thousands of North Carolina teachers were expected to rally at the capitol on Wednesday for higher pay and increased education spending in a walk-out that follows similar protests from teachers in other states seeking more money for schools.The protests are part of a wave of actions and strikes this year by teachers in states including West Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arizona and Colorado who feel lawmakers have failed to adequately pay teachers and provide for schools.

RALEIGH, N . C . — Thousands of teachers are set to hit the streets of North Carolina ’s capital on Wednesday, determined to force a political showdown over wages and funding. As many as 15,000 teachers were expected to defy forecasts of rain for a rally in Raleigh as the Republican-dominated

A rally on Wednesday, May 16, 2018, the day lawmakers return to the General Assembly, has closed thousands of schools in a state where teacher pay ranks Thousands of teachers are set to hit the streets of North Carolina 's capital on Wednesday, determined to force a political showdown over

As many as 15,000 teachers were expected to defy forecasts of rain for a rally in Raleigh as the Republican-dominated state legislature begins its annual session. Previous strikes, walkouts and protests in West Virginia, Arizona, Kentucky, Colorado and Oklahoma have led legislators in each state to improve pay, benefits or overall school funding.

The state's main teacher advocacy group, the North Carolina Association of Educators, demands that legislators increase per-pupil spending to the national average in four years, increase school construction for a growing state, and approve a multiyear pay raise for teachers and school support staff that would raise incomes to the national average.

More than three dozen school districts that together educate more than two-thirds of the state's 1.5 million public school students have decided to close classrooms to allow for the show of strength by the teachers and their advocacy group.

Thousands of North Carolina teachers marched. Now what?

  Thousands of North Carolina teachers marched. Now what? North Carolina politicians and the public are waiting to see what happens next after thousands of teachers rallied to demand increased spending on public schools. An estimated 19,000 people marched through the state's capital city."What are you prepared to do?" the woman in the red "RESPECT public education" T-shirt shouted into the microphone Wednesday afternoon.

RALEIGH, N . C . (AP) — Thousands of teachers are set to hit the streets of North Carolina ’s capital on Wednesday, determined to force a As many as 15,000 teachers were expected to defy forecasts of rain for a rally in Raleigh as the Republican-dominated state legislature begins its annual session.

RALEIGH, N . C . (AP) — Thousands of teachers are set to hit the streets of North Carolina 's capital on Wednesday, determined to force a political showdown over Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper spoke at a rally across the street, promoting his proposal to pay for higher salaries by blocking tax cuts that

"The fact that a million kids are not going to be in school (Wednesday) because a political organization wants to have folks come there to communicate with us or send a message" should be the day's focus, said state Senate leader Phil Berger, a Republican.

The teachers' group favors a proposal by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper to raise salaries by stopping planned tax cuts on corporations and high-income households.

Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore made clear they have no plans to funnel more money to classrooms by postponing January's planned tax cuts, including one for what is already one of the country's lowest corporate income taxes.

"We have no intention of raising taxes," Berger said.

But with the Great Recession history and the state's financial stability restored, teachers say it's time to catch up on deferred school spending. 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.

Thousands of teachers, students descend on North Carolina's capitol in protest

  Thousands of teachers, students descend on North Carolina's capitol in protest Through pouring rain and scorching heat, more than 30,000 students and teachers marched to North Carolina’s state capitol in Raleigh for the “March for Students and Rally for Respect” to fight back against unfair pay and inadequate learning environments in schools across the state.  “You never retire, and you’re always caring,” said Judy Justice, a retired teacher. “Look at these thousands of people. It’s hot out here, and a lot of us aren’t young and this isn’t easy. Some of us have been here since eight this morning.” She says they are all doing it for the kids.

Thousands of North Carolina teachers missed school Wednesday to rally at the state legislative building in Raleigh, calling for better pay , benefits and more state spending per student.

Downtown Raleigh filled Wednesday with thousands of teachers who marched in the morning and rallied in the afternoon rain as they demanded that lawmakers do more to raise teacher pay and education spending in North Carolina .

"We're grossly underfunding our schools," he said.

North Carolina teachers earn an average salary of about $50,000, ranking them 39th in the country last year, the National Education Association reported last month. Their pay increased by 4.2 percent over the previous year — the second-biggest increase in the country — and was estimated to rise an average 1.8 percent this year, the NEA said. But the union points out that that still represents a 9.4 percent slide in real income since 2009 due to inflation.

Their demands are also political. The Republican-led legislature should expand Medicaid coverage so students and their families stay healthy, and cancel corporate tax cuts until school spending is increased, Jewell said.

Jewell said teachers don't really expect GOP lawmakers to meet all their demands, which is why they are also urging voters to not re-elect them.

"All of this will be fruitless unless we take this energy and passion to the ballot box and change those who are making the policy," Jewell said.

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Follow Emery P. Dalesio at http://twitter.com/emerydalesio . His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/emery-p-dalesio

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