On eve of teacher march, North Carolina lawmakers promise raises

Demanding respect, thousands of teachers and students swarm North Carolina capital

Yet North Carolina teacher pay-which averages out just above $50,000, including local supplements and benefits- remains almost $10,000 below the national average and ranks 39th in the nation. Multiple school districts and counties followed suit.

Johnson, a Republican, said in a statement last week that teacher pay is important and has been improving. That increase will bring the average teacher pay to more than $53,000, not accounting for local supplements, benefits or bonuses, he said.

As Wednesday's march approaches, North Carolina Republicans have been emphasizing raises approved by state lawmakers in recent years, raises that lifted the state from near the bottom of the nation in teacher pay to 39th this year. On May 16, about 15,000 teachers are taking a personal day to lobby their state legislature, effectively shutting down schools across North Carolina. But groups such as the North Carolina Association of Educators, which is organizing the march, say teachers are doing what's allowed under state law.

A multi-year professional pay plan for educators, education support professionals, administrators, and all other school personnel. "How am I going to respect teachers who shut down the school for a day?" I'd give them money to protest. "Despite having the polling data that [shows] across partisan lines, people support public education, we're still seeing these really low funding levels". For the past 11 years, she's worked as an elementary school music teacher in Fayetteville, a city in the southeastern part of the state near Fort Bragg.

"We all listen to the teachers as they talk to us", Berger said Tuesday.

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Jewell said teachers don't really expect the current leadership to meet all their demands, which is why they are also urging voters to not re-elect them.

"An analysis by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy finds North Carolina would have $3.5 billion more in annual revenue if lawmakers had not changed the tax system that was in place in 2013".

Legislators, now is the time to adjust spending on education. And planned raises for educators this year will make five in a row since state finances rebounded from the shock of a recession a few years ago, legislators said.

"But you know, teacher strikes are illegal in North Carolina and in some respect what we're seeing looks like a work slowdown", state Senate leader Phil Berger said last week.

However, a nonpartisan report this year from the National Education Association (NEA) calculated that teacher pay plunged more than 9 percent when adjusted for inflation from 2009 to 2018, the lion's share of that time spent under dominant Republican majorities.

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