State News

Teachers rally against possible education cuts

Posted March 18, 2011

— North Carolina educators holding their annual meeting in Raleigh are worried about what the General Assembly may do with funding for public education and teachers' jobs next fall.

The North Carolina Association of Educators held a noontime rally and march Friday outside the Raleigh Convention Center to highlight the need to protect investments in the public schools by lawmakers.

Teachers at the rally wore red T-shirts with the words "Unite Organize Empower" on them. Chants of "Children first" and "No more cuts" rang out as they marched through downtown Raleigh.

"We're now investing less in education than 45 other states, and it's unacceptable," said Rodney Ellis, NCAE vice president.

Although most lawmakers left Raleigh on Thursday and the march went nowhere near the State Capitol or the Legislative Building, teachers expressed confidence that their message would be heard.

"Public support in general will help our cause because these people driving down the road have children in schools too," preschool teacher Rebecca Alder said.

Ideas being floated by lawmakers could eliminate funding for 5 to 10 percent of classroom positions statewide, which would mean the loss of thousands of teachers and even more teaching assistants.

No decisions have been made by budget-writers in the new Republican majority in the legislature, but GOP lawmakers say they have little choice but to cut education spending.

"We've got a humongous deficit. We've got to make some cuts," said Sen. Neal Hunt, R-Wake.

Gov. Beverly Perdue made protecting education from spending cuts the top priority in her proposed budget.

NCAE rally NC educators' group holds Raleigh rally, march

Hunt, one of the senior budget writers in the Senate, acknowledged that education is a key economic driver and said lawmakers intend to protect schools as best they can. Spending on public schools will be cut less than funding for state universities and community colleges, according to Republican lawmakers.

"It's impossible to protect them all. You can't protect all the teacher assistants. You can't protect all the teachers," Hunt said.

Amanda Cranford, a kindergarten teacher in her third year, said she worries about her future and that of her students.

"They need teachers and small class sizes. There's no way to teach classes that have 30 kids in them," Cranford said.

"I love my classroom. I love my kids. My classroom is about my kids," teacher David Beaver said.

Nearly 1,000 delegates from every school district in the state are participating in the convention, which ends Saturday. The association has nearly 60,000 members.

"We're going to have thousands and thousands of educators who actually cast votes. We are a voting population," Ellis said. "If we are not heard, at the very least, then we will remember that come election time next year."


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  • cwmllc1952 Mar 21, 2011

    No one wants to loose their job.I have people that are just getting back to work after 3 years.Educaters should have the intelligence to see now is the time to cut out useless courses not only in High Schools but in Colleges.My niece is taking BADMINTON at NCSU. My daughter took Golf at NCSU. A TOTAL waste of time and education.My High School daughter is no better off.
    Teach useful courses and aducate more kids for less money in less time.Educators are showing THEIR ignorance when they make it mandatory to take trash courses. ALL ABOUT A $$$$$$$$$$$$$

  • ditch Mar 21, 2011


    Just an FYI. I do understand capitalism. Make the most money you possibly can. No matter what that is the bottom line, and it would lead to a lot of pass to get paid situations. Now it would be true that you could take your kids where ever you want. You can do this now as well, as there are private schools that are out there. And, if all goes well there will be plenty more.

    As for the name calling. I am not a liberal, I am a realist. If you take money from schools you have to put money into prisons. Are our schools as good as they could be? Not at all. Why? There are changes that could be made in the industry. Teachers who do not perform could be replaced. Standardised test should be removed as they make teachers teach to a test and not just teach. And, the biggest is that people who sit here and complain about teachers need to step it up and read with their children. Teachers have your kids 1/3 of the time. In the 50s this was the case.

  • helloworld Mar 21, 2011

    apex94, you are "plain tired of the complaining", well, I am plain tired of the ignorance. You cannot "add in the additional 2 months of summer" to our 10 month salaries, because teachers are NOT paid through the summer! We are paid for 10 months. How is that so difficult to understand? And, a side note here...we do have workshops over the summer, meetings, and work on our rooms and plans without pay! State the facts, ok?

  • unc70 Mar 18, 2011

    You believe that public schools have failed because:

    (a) Schools teach things you don't believe: evolution, science, history, ethics, civics, reading comprehension.

    (b) All men are created equally ignorant and should remain so.

    (c) Your taxes should not be used to educate those who will be caring for you in the hospital or nursing home.

    (d) You could not pass tenth grade today because of the teachers.

    (e) You prefer the way schools were in the good old days -- when half dropped out before high school, when many "failed" the military draft, when NC was as good as Mississippi, when anyone still thought that separate could ever be equal.

    (f) You think that it will be OK to privatize everything next year 80% of schools are considered failing (because of poor design of NCLB)

  • ifcdirector Mar 18, 2011

    Red shirts? Fantastic choice.

  • North Carolina Home Mar 18, 2011

    kibubbleski, thank you for presenting an example of of the very problem I presented in my last post.

    Big picture awareness instead of singular self satisfaction is more conducive to success of the whole. I'm glad you feel gratification of "a child" that learns. Unfortunately, the numbers of overall success do no support your singular gratification. Our children are leaving high schools without the knowledge of basic skills to function in society. Whether you like it or not, you are a part of that collective failure.

  • changein2016please! Mar 18, 2011

    jakrijugi, no state workers have received raises in 3 years either. I admire the jobs most teachers do, but having worked in the school system 3 years as a non-teaching 12 month employee, I saw my share of teachers who came in on teacher workdays, signed in, and left to go home. I saw teachers who had first period planning come in late every morning and those that had last period planning leave right after the 3rd period (high school). You guys get a good part of the summer off and all the holidays plus some. Though you may complain about your pay, if you calculated what you get paid for 10 months and add that additional two months to that at that rate, suddenly those salaries don't look so bad. I have people in my workplace with 4-6 year degrees and 5-10 years experience making $35-50k a year with 2-3 weeks off a year for vacation. Our starting rate for our positions, with a bachelors degree, is $32k. So, really, I am just plain tired of the complaining.

  • sirthinksalot Mar 18, 2011

    The problem is not the teachers. The problem is the unions and the automatic raises accross the board. There are many fine teachers, but raises and other bonuses should be given based on results. They should not be given because you're a part of a union. This state and this country can't afford what the unions are forcing on us. It's past time to fix this spending problem!!!

  • truth9806 Mar 18, 2011

    They should be cut just like all State workers.

  • Alex25 Mar 18, 2011

    "NCAE, the Democratic fundraising arm, along with the Department of Public Instruction are fully operated by the products of a failed public education system. Don't really blame them as they are the victims of the Blue Social Model being taught in our university systems as well. But they are wrong and misguided.

    Time to step up, citizens!"

    Well articulated, NC Home.

    Take the power from the bur'crats...and give it to parents. ASAP. No excuses...