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North Carolina educators march to protest public school cuts, Gov. Pat McCrory

McCrory_CooperA group affiliated with the N.C. Association of Educators (NCAE), a Raleigh-based teacher lobbying group, is marching 23 miles overnight tonight to protest public school cuts and the policy decisions of Gov. Pat McCrory, The News & Observer reports.

The group, which backs McCrory’s Democratic challenger, N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper, issued a blistering critique of McCrory, who, post HB2, seems entangled in an uphill fight for re-election this November.

From the N&O:

Educators, parents, students and community leaders will walk from Neal Middle School in Durham and Wakefield High School in Raleigh starting at noon Tuesday. After an overnight stop, they plan to show up at McCrory’s office on Wednesday to try to meet with him.

The walk is co-sponsored by Organize 2020, a caucus within the North Carolina Association of Educators, which has endorsed Cooper, a Democrat, for governor.

“Students deserve more support and resources in schools, our communities deserve more access to health care, and members of the LGBT community deserve dignity and freedom from discrimination,” said Dawn Wilson, a public school parent and teacher assistant, in a written statement. “We’ll be expecting the Governor to join us outside the Capital on Wednesday at 5pm, but this march is about improving the lives of students – and our students deserve more than just a meeting.”

McCrory won’t be able to meet with the marchers “because of previous engagements,” according to Russell Peck, his campaign manager. On Tuesday, Peck said in a statement that McCrory has worked to increase pay for teachers.

“While Roy Cooper voted to cut education and was complicit in the years of massive pay decline for North Carolina teachers, Governor McCrory has already raised teacher pay faster than any other state, put forward a plan to raise teacher pay to $50,000 plus benefits and increased education funding to an all-time high, making North Carolina a top 10 state for its level of investment in education,” Peck said. “It’s clear why the teachers union is endorsing Roy Cooper and attacking the governor: Cooper will be beholden to the highly-paid union bosses, not the parents, teachers, students and taxpayers of North Carolina.”

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