North Carolina educators are the latest to protest in nationwide “Teacher Revolt”
From labor strikes in West Virginia to 6-day walkouts in Arizona, teachers across America are staging protests to demand higher salaries and new classroom material.
In Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, thousands of teachers have been protesting the government’s plan to close down 300 schools as they are recovering from Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017. North Carolina is the latest state to face the wave, as Raleigh was swept up in protest on Wednesday.
The North Carolina 1 day walkout had an estimated 1 million students participate across districts, prompting the state to cancel classes.
Mark Jewell, president of the North Carolina Association of Educators, said at the state Capitol in Raleigh on Wednesday morning, “We are marching to let our General Assembly know and our elected policymakers that this is really about accountability.”
William Powell, a middle school teacher in Raleigh shared, “It’s become a struggle every day when you don’t have what you need to be able to equip these young folks with what they need.”
He continues, “Education is a profession that needs to be respected and for so long we haven’t been respected. I mean we’re treated like a stepchild and we are the professionals that make the professionals.”
North Carolina educators have stated a list of demands. They include an increase in per pupil funding in public schools, a higher pay which matches the national average of $58,000, and more funding to support school psychologists and social workers.
Wednesday’s rally at Raleigh kicked off an electoral campaign to support and vote in “pro-public education policymakers” to the General Assembly on Nov. 6th.