North Carolina teachers march for more education funding

North Carolina teachers march for more education funding
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North Carolina teachers marched in downtown Raleigh on Wednesday to demand more education funding, WRAL reported.

The North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE), which organized the march, is calling on legislators to spend more on students.

The NCAE said in a statement that it also wants lawmakers to invest in the health and well-being of students, address large class sizes and “crumbling schools” and “prioritize classrooms and not corporate board rooms.”

Gov. Roy Cooper (D), in an effort to provide more money to public schools, last week called for a freeze to the state’s tax cuts, which will take effect next year. Republican state legislators rejected the governor’s plan, however, opting instead for their own plan, which had smaller raises for teachers.

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The NCAE said that its ultimate goal is to elect more “pro-public education leaders in North Carolina,” WRAL reported.

“Our students deserve better. They deserve resources to help make them successful. They deserve professionally paid educators,” the organization said in a statement. “They deserve safe schools and schools that are not crumbling and in disrepair. We love our public schools and we deserve better!”

North Carolina ranks 37th in teacher pay and is below the national average, the group noted. When adjusted to inflation, teachers in the state make less than they did a decade ago.

The teacher walkout led some of the largest school districts in North Carolina to close.

More than 1 million public school students got the day off because of the protest, The News & Observer reported.

The North Carolina walkout is the latest in a string of teacher protests that began in February when West Virginia teachers shut schools down for nine days to demand higher wages.

Teacher in Oklahoma, Kentucky and Arizona have also protested to get more education funding.