"If I've learned anything, teachers don't teach for incomes, teachers teach for outcomes".
Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper spoke at a rally across the street, promoting his proposal to pay for higher salaries by blocking tax cuts that Republicans chose to give corporations and high-income households next January. "I think the people of North Carolina don't fully support that sort of action". He said he will put in an extra $112 million to the state's budget. The school system made it an optional workday for teachers and most elementary schools, including Jones, opened for students for all-day ACES, the school system's after-school program. 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.
"You can't have a strong economy and attract employers with good-paying jobs without a well-educated workforce continuously coming from a pipeline of our students", Davis said. Boraks also said he saw signs reading, "Teacher pay: Grade F", and "I just want to make a living".
North Carolina teachers on Wednesday joined the fight for funding teachers have been waging across the country.
Teachers wore red and made posters for the event.
The teachers are urging lawmakers to invest more per student in spending until it reaches the national average. Wednesday's march in North Carolina prompted more than three-dozen school districts that educate more than two-thirds of the state's 1.5 million public school students to cancel class.
Lee Irvin of Cary said he's sympathetic to the teachers' demands, if not their method, which is forcing the software engineer and his wife to work from home on Wednesday. "I think we need to listen to them".
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Wood echoed the sentiment and said that in his district, students had gone so far as to organize voter registration rallies for seniors turning 18 this year so that they could help in the efforts to vote out incumbent politicians who vote against teachers' interests.
"They keep giving tiny raises and taking so much away from the kids", said Holdridge, who came to the Legislative Building ahead of the march to lobby legislators. Dare County Schools reported eight teachers took personal days to attend the rally and one teacher took off from Perquimans Country Schools.
"We are now about $2,400 below the national average in how we fund our public school children", Jewell said at a news conference in Raleigh earlier this week.
And with the state's finances stabilized after the Great Recession, teachers say it's time to catch up on deferred school spending.
The demands of their main advocacy group, the North Carolina Association of Educators, include raising per-pupil spending and pay for teachers and support staff to the national average, and increasing school construction to match the state's population growth. 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, but that still represents a 9.4 percent slide in real income since 2009 due to inflation, the NEA said. She said simple capital needs in her school, such as building repairs, have been neglected. He said they should be paid like the professionals they are. "This semester, one of my former students approached me and pulled out her AP history book smiling because my name was in the front cover".