Teachers plan march on State Capitol today to protest education cuts
In case you missed it last week, Gov. McCrory signed into law a budget that contains $500 million in cuts to public education. The budget also contains no raises for the state’s teachers, who are some of the worst paid in the nation; cuts to instructional supplies and teacher assistant jobs; and a school voucher plan that sends millions of public dollars to private schools.
Since April, those unhappy with the legislature and the Governor’s policy decisions have converged at the General Assembly to peacefully demonstrate. Some of those gatherings have had a theme to raise awareness on a particular issue, such as women’s issues or voting rights.
Today’s Moral Monday, the 13th, will focus on public education. Outraged teachers plan to march from Halifax Mall to the State Capitol at 5pm. Even educators from neighboring states plan to join the march in solidarity; the Virginia Education Association has organized a number of educators to carpool together for the drive from Richmond to Raleigh.
Will Pat McCrory mingle with Moral Monday demonstrators this afternoon? Even if he decides to stay indoors, he’s likely receiving a lot of feedback from teachers using other means, such as this letter from an educator who previously voted for McCrory based on his record as Charlotte mayor.
Here’s an excerpt; read the entire letter here.
I have watched my colleagues who are close to retirement break down and cry about how they cannot afford to retire with how little they make due to the lack of raises in the past several years. I can no longer rationalize the sacrifices I have made as a teacher in the state of North Carolina. I do not want to end up like my older colleagues who are burnt out, overworked, and vastly underpaid. At the end of this school year, I plan on leaving the profession in order to avoid that fate. Access to effective public education starts with qualified teachers, which will be difficult to find if these legislative trends continue.
In both the 2008 and 2012 elections, I voted for you as a result of your record and success as Charlotte’s mayor. I urge you to veto the budget and any other legislation that would once again make us the “Rip Van Winkle State.”