Gov. Cooper tweets support of teachers during Raleigh rally

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The March for Students and Rally for Respect starts at 10 a.m. and teachers will march from the North Carolina Association of Educators headquarters to the legislative building, enter the building, and begin meeting with legislators. Nearly 40 school districts announced closures as of Tuesday.

During Wednesday's rally, Cooper said North Carolina's teacher pay, which ranks 37th in the country, is unacceptable.

Dennis: So I just wanted to know about teacher assistants, that's something that I've never experienced. In Tucson, Arizona, teachers are finding out that due to state funding formulas that they won't be received the 9% raise that they were promised when they ended their strike.

Dr. Shelton Jefferies, superintendent of Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools, said many people are trying to cast this as a partisan issue.

"We have no intention of raising taxes", Berger said. "In an ideal world, we would call substitutes, but we have schools that can't get subs".

You allow us the privilege every day of entrusting us with the most precious thing in your lives.

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"Especially as a science teacher, we're looking at books that are fourteen years old, and they keep telling us, 'Oh, well you can go digital.' Well, you can't go digital when you're looking at a four-student-to-one-computer ratio", she says.

Legislators said they have given teachers a pay increase every year since 2015, but here in North Carolina salaries are still less than the national average.

"The cuts have been constant, devastating and continue to worsen", Hester said. The banks and giant corporations like Bank of America and Amazon operate on a national and worldwide scale, shifting operations to whatever locale offers them the lowest taxes and cheapest labor.

Raleigh businesses - hotels, restaurants, retailers - are doing the math of Wednesday's big event that organizers describe more as a revolution. She says she drives for Uber to make ends meet despite working in education for 22 years. "North Carolina is better than that". The teachers walked from the North Carolina Association of Educators office to the North Carolina State Legislative Building. "We're exhausted of it, but we are in it to the end". They want to do right by their students, regardless of circumstances.

Corey Mitchell, a teacher of over twenty years at Northwest School of the Arts in Charlotte, fears that budget cuts and staffing limitations have led to a public school system that is ultimately unsustainable.

"I think a lot of us started to see, 'well shoot, if West Virginia can do it, North Carolina can do it, ' " middle school Spanish teacher Sally Merryman told NPR. How unfair is it that the amount of money parents can afford to spend on a home decides the quality of a child's education?

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"We call this life".

More than 1 million public school students got the day off because of the protest, The News & Observer reported. The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, which looked at the percent change in K-12 funding from 2008 to 2015, adjusting for inflation, found that total state funding per student in North Carolina fell 12.2 percent since 2008. They're demanding better pay and more resources for their classrooms.

"I haven't seen a dime".

Erik Matticola of Swansboro is a social studies teacher in Onslow County at both Swansboro High School and the Onslow Virtual Academy. "In a booming state economy, we need to keep boosting teacher pay to attract and keep talented teachers". The group also wants "significant and livable raises for all public school employees".

Teachers can also be learners.

"I'm proud of the NCAE for taking a stand and organizing this day of advocacy".

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"We won't be fooled", said Garcia.

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