Thousands Of Teachers From Across North Carolina March In Raleigh
Updated at 3:20 p.m.
WFDD's Keri Brown spoke with teachers gathered in Raleigh Wednesday about what brought them to the march. Durham County teacher Jamecia Miller says, "I think teachers get paid on the low-end, and I think that we do a lot of work. I think that a lot of kids have mental health needs that don’t get supported in schools." Miller is also marching for better maternity leave. "Teachers get six weeks of maternity leave, which I think is absolutely ridiculous,” she says.
For Andy Pearsons from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, it's about resources and a better teaching environment. "I have 38 kids in my classroom this year, [and] a school that’s really kind of falling apart. I mean it is what it is; it was built in the 60s, but it needs to be refurbished. [There are] computers that are broken...we’re not given the tools that we need or the incentive,” he says.
Thousands of teachers are in Raleigh, marching for better pay and improved working conditions.
This protest has been planned for weeks, with many of the state’s largest school systems shutting down for the day including Guilford County and Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools.
NCAE officials say crowd is one of the biggest they've ever seen to support public education. Officials say the number of schools closed today is now over 40 and they estimate around 70 percent of students are missing classes because of the event. @wfdd #nced #Red4Ed #ncpol pic.twitter.com/KZM75q7GHX— Keri Brown (@kerib_news) May 16, 2018
It’s also the first day of the 2018 legislative session.
WFDD’s Keri Brown is covering the rally throughout the day. Several teachers have told her this march is about more than just a paycheck.
“They want to see more funding for schools, for counselors, nurses," Brown reports. "They want to see better buildings to go into for themselves as well as the students...I’m told they’ve never seen anything like this, in regards of a rally for public education.”
Educators are planning an additional rally later in the day, and many teachers say they will be lobbying their legislators directly.