@NCCapitol

Wearing 'red for public ed,' teachers crowd legislative protest

Posted July 29, 2013
Updated July 30, 2013

— Thousands of North Carolina teachers and other protesters on Monday staged one of the largest of the almost-weekly demonstrations opposing Republican policy decisions.

The North Carolina Association of Educators brought busloads of teachers to Raleigh on Monday as the so-called "Moral Monday" protests reached the three-month mark. Thousands of red-shirt-wearing educators listened to speakers on a lawn inside the state government complex, then marched several blocks for another rally outside the antebellum state Capitol building.

"Educators are sick and tired of being demoralized," NCAE President Rodney Ellis said at a news conference preceding the rally. "We're sick and tired of being unappreciated. We're sick and tired of being disrespected. Public educators and public schools are not failing our students, politicians are." Moral Monday, July 29 Moral Monday, July 29

Crowds grew so large that police shut down a portion of Lane Street.

Many said they were outraged and angry that the state budget signed by Gov. Pat McCrory last week doesn't include raises for North Carolina's teachers – among the lowest paid in the country – and sets aside $20 million for "opportunity scholarships," which opponents have compared to a school voucher system.

Julie Grice, who has been teaching in Hickory for 20 years, said future teachers will have to deal with the challenges of the legislature not supporting them.

"They are going to have to pay out of their pocket. They are going to have to work many hours for little pay," she said.

Moral Monday, July 29 Moral Monday packed with 'outraged' teachers

Eric Guckian, McCrory's senior education advisor, however, said the budget increases public education spending.

"We did fund education in our state," Guckian said. "Unfortunately we couldn't fund it to the extent that perhaps was needed as it pertains to the needs of the teachers."

Earlier in the day, a smaller group of protesters gathered at the State Capitol to demand a meeting with Gov. Pat McCrory. Police kept the demonstration outside the building but said they would deliver the protesters' letter to the governor.

With lawmakers gone, the protest featured none of the civil disobedience that led to about 925 demonstrators being arrested outside the legislative chambers in previous weeks.

North Carolina NAACP President Rev. William Barber said the weekly protests will continue, but move to different locations around the state. The next will be in Asheville next Monday and there are plans to hold demonstrations in all 13 of North Carolina's congressional districts, Barber said.

"We are not ending Moral Monday," he said. "We are suspending it here and taking it on the road."

Republican lawmakers have repeatedly said they're not going to be swayed by protests. Rep. Nelson Dollar, R-Wake, said he and his colleagues are focused on jobs, education, health care and public safety and that the protesters simply want to keep the status quo.

"We can no longer have a state with high unemployment, no longer have a state with low expectations for our students," he said. "Republicans simply will not accept that. We believe the economy can grow. We believe our students can achieve. We believe we must be responsible for taxpayer dollars, the same way families have to be responsible for their budgets."



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  • maybelle Aug 1, 2013

    And just think, they are drawing their pay while protesting. What a wonderful world.
    LOL

  • golorealist Jul 31, 2013

    "Less than 10% of teachers ever attain it " - plenty coups

    actually, in nc, around 20% of all public school teachers are certified, and that percentage is climbing by a few points every year. also, nc has more certified teachers than any other state...by far...nc teachers account for 20% of all certified teachers in the country.

  • Plenty Coups Jul 31, 2013

    babedan-"Plenty Coups yes you denied County Supplements,"

    When? Please point it out.

    " You keep stating the Starting Salary for a teacher is $30,800 per year, but in reality it isn't because the county picks up the rest."

    It is 30,800. Some counties pay more because of a supplement, not all. And some supplements are small. It's still far below other states teacher pay because all that gets factored into avg. teacher pay.

    "As for how hard it is, Who cares how hard it is,"

    I don't get your point. I really don't. National Board certification? Do you know what it is? Less than 10% of teachers ever attain it and it costs thousands of dollars to even attempt to get it. Republicans also debated taking away that pay as well. Why? Why don't they want to reward the good teachers? Those are the questions you should be asking.

  • golorealist Jul 31, 2013

    "Who said I supported either golo? I just stated there is another way other than a Masters to get a pay raise. Get your certification and you get a raise." - babedan

    you have implied that you are ok with one and not the other. you're against a bump in masters pay. you have made that clear. you appear to be ok with the bump for certs because you are promoting it as a method for teachers to receive more pay, and you are not speaking against it at all.

    by the way, in case you missed it, more teachers in nc are certified than in any other state.

  • babedan Jul 31, 2013

    Who said I supported either golo? I just stated there is another way other than a Masters to get a pay raise. Get your certification and you get a raise.

  • golorealist Jul 31, 2013

    "golo - medical insurance is affecting more and more people. I now pay more than I did this time last year. And how much do teachers have to pay? I bet it's a lot less than that business owner has to pay for his employees using Obamacare? I bet it's a lot less than that self employeed individual under Obamacare. I pay for my insurance too so what are you crying about." - babedan

    not crying about anything. like i've told you a few times already, i am not a teacher. but, my wife is. she was paying more than i do through my employer, and she was getting a lower level of coverage than i am. it's cheaper for her to go buy an individual policy (just like the self employed person would that you're asking about), and that's exactly what she does now. it's cheaper and offers better coverage than my wife's insurance through school. ;)

    but, hey. go ahead and continue talking about things that you have no clue about. you have been doing it consistently for a few days now. why stop now?

  • babedan Jul 31, 2013

    golo - medical insurance is affecting more and more people. I now pay more than I did this time last year. And how much do teachers have to pay? I bet it's a lot less than that business owner has to pay for his employees using Obamacare? I bet it's a lot less than that self employeed individual under Obamacare. I pay for my insurance too so what are you crying about.

  • golorealist Jul 31, 2013

    also, there has been talk of eliminating the pay bump for certification as well over the past few years.

    why do you support a bump for certification but not for masters?

  • golorealist Jul 31, 2013

    "Plenty Coups yes you denied County Supplements, You keep stating the Starting Salary for a teacher is $30,800 per year, but in reality it isn't because the county picks up the rest. So yes I exposed your Ruse about how poor it really is. As for how hard it is, Who cares how hard it is, I have several Certifications and I had to take many many classes to get them. Yea, it's time consuming but guess what, IT WAS REQUIRED FOR MY JOB. You complain about pay, but yet there is an avenue for teachers to get extra pay by being certified but that's too hard...Or is it our teachers in NC are smart enough to pass such a test and therefore it is taboo for the likes of you for anyone to talk about that? Teachers want more pay then get certified otherwise, quit your whinning." - babedan

    nc already has more board certified teachers than any other state in the nation. ;)

  • babedan Jul 31, 2013

    Plenty Coups yes you denied County Supplements, You keep stating the Starting Salary for a teacher is $30,800 per year, but in reality it isn't because the county picks up the rest. So yes I exposed your Ruse about how poor it really is. As for how hard it is, Who cares how hard it is, I have several Certifications and I had to take many many classes to get them. Yea, it's time consuming but guess what, IT WAS REQUIRED FOR MY JOB. You complain about pay, but yet there is an avenue for teachers to get extra pay by being certified but that's too hard...Or is it our teachers in NC are smart enough to pass such a test and therefore it is taboo for the likes of you for anyone to talk about that? Teachers want more pay then get certified otherwise, quit your whinning.

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