Teachers rally in Raleigh

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On Wednesday, as North Carolina lawmakers returned to their legislative session, thousands of teachers protested outside the statehouse in Raleigh for a one-day "Rally for Respect", calling for more money for schools and higher teacher pay and echoing the demonstrations at other statehouses rocked by years of post-recession cuts to school funding.

"It's historic to me", Jones said.

"I just don't support the method".

"It is tax fairness for teacher pay", Cooper said.

Malinda Pennington, who now works at Rocky Mount High School and used to work in Wilson County Schools as an exceptional children program specialist, was in the mass of teachers.

Looking for news you can trust? Throughout the protest and rally, the energy stayed high as everyone came together to demand more school funding and budget adjustments, all in the hopes to provide a better future for students and teachers.

As thousands of people marched outside the General Assembly in Raleigh, Governor Roy Cooper showed his support for helping teachers.

Although the march and rally are primarily aimed at North Carolina's public education system, teachers from private and charter schools were in attendance as well.

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Warren said he saw Democratic Reps.

"I've just seen a lot of desire for change", said Julianne Kiesel, the school social worker and counselor at Al-Iman School. She makes sure students who can't see the chalkboard get glasses, and she maintains a food pantry and a clothing closet for children in need.

Wood echoed the sentiment and said that in his district, students had gone so far as to organize voter registration rallies for seniors turning 18 this year so that they could help in the efforts to vote out incumbent politicians who vote against teachers' interests. But renewed respect - or "whatever" - for teachers might take a lot longer.

Dressed in red T-shirts, the tide rolled through downtown Raleigh and crashed on the legislative building, where the Republican-controlled legislature started its annual work session.

The state's public school teachers, in other words, will see no immediate change after the largest political action organized by educators in North Carolina history.

"We all had the same story, crumbling buildings, no supplies, lack of teacher assistants", Trujillo said. (Republicans say it will cost too much to get N.C. teachers to the national average.) Cooper would pay for these increases by holding off on a planned tax cut for business and for people making more than $200,000 a year. Gov. Cooper had some very inspirational words and was honest in his efforts to address teacher's concerns.

North Carolina is now ranked 37th in teacher pay and 39th in per-pupil spending, according to a report released by the National Education Association in April. Dozens of current and former educators who protested this spring have filed to run for state office, and following the teacher walkout in Oklahoma, the president of state's largest teacher group announced it would shift its focus toward mobilizing and supporting pro-public education candidates in the November election. "Let's use that money to raise teacher pay instead". "What we've tried to do is put it into play in such a way that we reward people for doing a good job", Cook said. "It seems like more support is going toward other options when our public schools serve all children, whether they are low-income or have special needs or if they are incredibly talented and gifted, we support them all and we need to support our public schools". He said also that he wants to eliminate end-of-grade exams, eliminate Common Core standards and return control of school calendars to the local districts. "They come to class crying, they're hungry; 80 percent or more are at the poverty level".

Kenely said it was her first time coming to the legislature.

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