CMS teachers prepare for rally in Raleigh

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Durham County was the first to close schools and allow teachers to attend the rally after pressure from the Durham Association of Educators. Cols said he won't be going to the rally, because he can't afford to take the day off and lose the pay.

But that doesn't mean the fight will end Wednesday.

So there's your North Carolina snapshot.

All five area districts in the Albemarle plan to go ahead with classes as usual on Wednesday, as only one - the Currituck County Schools - expects a significant number of teachers to be absent that day.

"We are extremely aware that disrupting family routines puts a burden on parents. The people who are writing Letters of Recommendation", he said. "If we are short substitute teachers, we will implement a substitute teacher plan at the needed building or buildings - which occurs on days we are short substitute teachers throughout the year".

It depends on whom you ask.

North Carolina's teacher salaries rank 35th nationwide, but teachers there have seen the value of their wages fail to keep up with cost of living increases over the past two decades.

They've had some salary increases in recent years, but when adjusted for inflation, they've lost 9.4% in pay since 2009. According to US Census data, the median household income in North Carolina is $48,256.

"The lackluster rankings come at the same time that the North Carolina General Assembly has passed massive tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy", the North Carolina Association of Educators said.

Can teachers and lawmakers find common ground?

There is reason to wonder if legislators even will look out their windows and listen to what teachers are telling them about the state's ranking 39th nationally in per-pupil spending and 37th in teacher pay.

Thousands of teachers will take their voice to Raleigh, North Carolina on Wednesday for the "March for Students and Rally for Respect" event. Were I still working with student teachers, I would be urging them not to seek jobs in your state.

But funding for both are on the rise.

Moore called the proposed 6.2% increase "a major step".

Dennis: Absolutely, and when you say more, I think it's also important that the world know that when we say more, we're not asking for anything outlandish.

Berger also downplayed teacher interest in Wednesday's protests, adding that he does not believe a majority of the promised rally-goers would actually attend. Support staff - nurses, counselors, aides - are insufficient.

In Bladen County, the average teacher salary is $46,204. State law will require smaller classes in kindergarten through third grade next school year, but changes are being discussed.

- Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools. 81 of the roughly 360 teachers in the county make above the state salary average of $51,124. All students are welcome to receive lunch at any of these sites that day.

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