It depends on whom you ask.
North Carolina teachers join the thousands of educators across the US who have gone on strike this year, marching on Raleigh to demand higher wages and better funding for their classrooms Wednesday.
North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate Leader Phil Berger affirmed Tuesday legislative Republicans' commitment to providing North Carolina public school teachers a fifth consecutive pay raise with an average increase of 6.2-percent.
CMS says North Carolina is 43rd in the nation when it comes to per-pupil expenditures. Teachers coming to the march from the 70+ school districts that are still holding classes Wednesday will have to pay the $50 fee for a sub to replace them.
While Congressman Mark Walker is a federal lawmaker, he's certainly paying attention to what's going on with teachers at the state level.
We find it hard to blame the teachers, who have been peaceably complaining through proper channels for years.
Among the NCAE's members' demands are higher teacher pay, more school nurses and guidance counselors and increased per-student spending.
But funding for both are on the rise.
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.
Walker hopes after the march lawmakers will give more money to increase teacher pay, but also help educate students.
Other districts in the region expect Wednesday's rally will have less impact on teacher attendance that day.
Dr. Shelton Jefferies, superintendent of Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools, said many people are trying to cast this as a partisan issue.
North Carolina has proved to be particularly onerous for my former students.
One local teacher attending the rally in Raleigh is Jeffrey Pageau, a French teacher at Rocky Mount High School. For instance, a teacher with five years experience and a bachelor's degree earns a base salary of $38,300, while a teacher with 15 years experience with the same and a bachelor's degree earns a base salary of $45,550.
However, she said she's glad the Edgecombe County school board didn't cancel school for the event.
- Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools.
Classes are canceled in school districts across the state on Wednesday because so many teachers requested the day off. "We can not attract the best and brightest educators when we then pay them far less than they would make in another field requiring the degree level they achieve". All students are welcome to receive lunch at any of these sites that day.
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