Education, Features, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, Municipal Government, National

N.C. Educators March for More Funds

May 6, 2019

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

RALEIGH, N.C.—Thousands of teachers, school staff, and supporters marched through downtown Raleigh May 1. Their five demands included a 5% raise for all school employees and a $15-an-hour minimum for school support staff; expanding Medicaid “to improve the health of our students and families”; restoring extra pay for teachers with advanced degrees; cancelling the elimination of retiree health benefits for teachers hired after 2021; and an adequate amount of librarians, counselors, and nurses. More than half the state’s schools closed because teachers were absent. State House leaders said Apr. 30 that their budget proposal would raise pay by 1% or $500 for support staff, 4.6% for teachers, and 10% for principals. Rebecca Brady, a teacher assistant in the Raleigh suburb of Holly Springs, called that “insulting,” saying she makes less than $23,000 a year after 15 years on the job. “We deserve a living wage,” she told the Raleigh News and Observer. State Sen. Ralph Hise (R-Mitchell County) called the protest “a political rally for Democrats that’s keeping nearly one million kids out of school.” “It’s time to teach them a lesson,” the Rev. William Barber II told the rally. “Together we will turn North Carolina around.” Read more

May 6, 2019

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