Thousands of teachers across North Carolina have requested leave on May 16 to attend the March for Students and Rally for Respect event in Raleigh, planned by the North Carolina Association of Educators. (Source: WECT)
NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) –
Thousands of teachers across North Carolina have requested leave on May 16 to attend the March for Students and Rally for Respect event in Raleigh, planned by the North Carolina Association of Educators. The goal is to ask legislators for better pay and more funding for schools.
The NCAE held a pre-rally news conference in Wilmington Friday afternoon in the public courtyard at the corner of Chestnut and North Third streets to talk about the importance of the upcoming rally in Raleigh.
“May 16 will be a great day of solidarity for public school educators and advocates, but it is only the beginning,” said NCAE President Mark Jewell. “May 16 is the beginning of a six-month stretch of time to hold our elected leaders accountable and elect more pro-public education leaders in North Carolina so that our state can return as a beacon for public schools.”
Educators marching in Raleigh on May 16 are asking for five things from elected leaders:
Significant investment in per-pupil spending so our students have the resources to be successful. A multi-year professional pay plan for educators, education support professionals, administrators, and all other school personnel. This plan must include restoration of compensation for advanced degrees and longevity. The plan must also stop the flat-lining of experienced educators’ pay. Investing in the health and well-being of our students and making schools safer through increased school nurses, counselors, social workers, and other support personnel, and expansion of Medicaid to improve the health of our communities. Fix our crumbling schools and large class sizes with a Statewide School Construction Bond. Prioritize classrooms and not corporate boardrooms.
Several school districts across the state have canceled classes on May 16, including New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick counties.
"It takes a concerted effort," said Barbara Anderson, vice president of the local NCAE chapter and a New Hanover County Schools teacher. "If we can band together, maybe we can get somebody up there to listen to the concerns we have. Our students don’t have the resources they really need.
"If we can’t change things next week, then maybe we can change them in November (at the general election)."
Copyright 2018 WECT. All rights reserved.