The following is cross-posted from the website of the North Carolina Association of Educators and can also be found by clicking here.
MARCH FOR STUDENTS, RALLY FOR RESPECT:
WHAT YOU REALLY NEED TO KNOW
#GetReady for our March for Students and Rally for Respect on May 16th. So far, the response has been outstanding for our Advocacy Day when the General Assembly goes back into session. We are bookending the day with two very powerful events to show our support for public school students, educators, and public education overall. To Join Us, please RSVP at Rally For Respect.
***UPDATE, UPDATE, UPDATE***
BECAUSE OF THE EXPECTED SIZE OF THE CROWD WE ARE LEAVING THE NCAE HQ AT 10A.M.!!!
THERE WILL BE NO PARKING IN THE NCAE PARKING LOT. WE NEED THE SPACE FOR PEOPLE TO STAND. ONLY MEDIA LIVE TRUCKS WILL BE ALLOWED TO PARK. **PLEASE SEE PARKING MAPS. BUS PARKING WILL BE ADDRESSED BELOW
9:45 am Meet at NCAE Headquarters, 700 S. Salisbury St. (be here no later than 9:45. Get here early for parking.)
10:00 am March for Students (from NCAE to Legislative Bldg, about 25 min)
10:45 am Enter Legislative Bldg and start assembling on 3rd Floor. This may take a little longer than usual with new metal detectors upon entry.
12:00 pm General Assembly Convenes. We want our members in the galleries.
1:00 pm Time to make Appointments with your local representative and on own for lunch. Cyberlobby. Self-nourishment.
3:00 pm Start assembling on Bicentennial Plaza across from the Legislative Building for Rally for Respect
3:30 pm Rally for Respect begins
4:30 pm Rally concludes and participants can start making their way back to NCAE Headquarters by foot or by using the R-Line which picks up at Jones and Wilmington.
To attend NCAE’s Advocacy Day: March for Students and Rally for Respect, educators should follow all leave policies and procedures. NCAE’s Legal Center has put together a one-pager on leave.
Why Do We March and Rally During Advocacy Day?
North Carolina is one of the worst in the country in the amount our elected leaders spend per student, about $2,400 behind the national average. Imagine what $2,400 per child could mean for our students and their future. However, we have the lowest corporate tax rate in the country for states that have one—and it’s set to go lower again.
North Carolina ranks 37th for teacher pay, about $9,600 behind the national average. When adjusting for inflation, educators are losing money (almost 12 percent)—the third worst in the country.
Our students deserve better. They deserve resources to help make them successful. They deserve professionally paid educators. They deserve safe schools and schools that are not crumbling and in disrepair. We love our public schools and we deserve better!
As we have mentioned, May 16th is a big day. It will be a great day of solidarity for public school educators and advocates, it will be filled with powerful moments, and we will call for action from our elected leaders. But May 16th is the beginning. It’s the beginning of a six month stretch of time to hold our elected leaders accountable for prioritizing corporate tax cuts, instead of our classrooms. The ultimate goal is elected more pro-public education leaders in North Carolina to return our state back to a beacon for public schools.
Broadly, we will be expecting five things from our elected leaders:
- Significant investment in per-pupil spending so our students have the resources to be successful.
- A multi-year professional pay plan for educators, education support professionals, administrators and all other school personnel. This plan must include restoration of compensation for advanced degree and longevity. The plan must also stop the flat-lining of experienced educator’s pay.
- Investing in the health and well-being of our students and making schools safer through increased school nurses, counselors, social workers and other support personnel and expansion of Medicaid to improve the health of our communities.
- Fix our crumbling schools and large class sizes with a Statewide School Construction Bond.
- Prioritize Classrooms and Not Corporate Board Rooms.
NCAE will be releasing the specific Advocacy Day Priorities on Monday.
Buses and 15-person passenger vans will not be parking downtown. Buses will drop off passengers on South Street or on Salisbury Street on the curb next to NCAE HQ (700 S. Salisbury). Buses should plan to arrive by 9am if possible. Passengers should be ready to unload. Buses should travel downtown on Salisbury or come to South Street using South Saunders. When the bus is empty, it will park at Walnut Creek Amphitheatre, 3801 Rock Quarry Road.
At 3:30, buses will travel back downtown and use Wilmington Street. The first 8 buses will park in the bus lane on the east side of the Duke Energy Performing Arts Center which is on Wilmington. The next 20-25 buses will park in the surface lot on the north side across from the Performing Arts Center. The other buses will stage in the NCAE parking lot and should enter the Kindley Street entrance (Wilmington, Left on South, Left on Salisbury, Right on Kindley). Buses can leave out on South Street.
Keep in mind buses won’t be able to depart until the front buses are completely loaded and ready to depart.
Each bus should have a captain. Make sure you have the names, cell phone number, and emails of all riders. LEAVE NO ONE behind. Once we know where all buses are staged, we will try to post on NCAE Facebook which locations the buses are staged. Please mark each bus with your county. If you have multiple buses, please mark Durham #1, Durham #2, etc.
THINGS TO REMEMBER:
- Comfortable Shoes
- Poncho or umbrella. (If you have an umbrella, it complicates going through metal detectors)
- This event goes on RAIN OR SHINE.
- Patience: There are several other big events near NCAE and the Legislative Building. Law enforcement are all trying to make sure our events are safe and smooth. Have patience and follow their directions, please.
Parking will be at a premium. UPDATE: There will be no parking at the NCAE Building. This space is now needed to hold attendees. There are multiple paid decks and surface lots around downtown, and more at the Capital Complex. On this parking map, NCAE is directly across from Deck “H”.
One good alternative is to park in the decks near the Legislative Building and walk to NCAE. Then your vehicle will be there after the rally. If you choose this option, give yourself plenty of time, it will be a 30-minute walk to NCAE. There will be water and portable toilets at NCAE.
We will begin at the NCAE Center at 700 S. Salisbury Street. We will cut over and walk down the sidewalk of Fayetteville Street, across the Capitol Grounds (sidewalks only), down Bicentennial Plaza and then to the Legislative Buildings. The attendance is large enough that some attendees will also march down one sidewalk on Salisbury Street and then meet up at the Capital.
On the sidewalks, the permit requires us to leave a lane for other pedestrians closer to the buildings and that we are as close to the street as possible without being in the street.
Signs for the March can be no bigger than 3’x3’ and cannot be on sticks. There will be signs available at NCAE.
AT THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY:
House and Senate sessions begin at noon. We would like as many educators and community supporters in the galleries, in the third floor rotunda, the second floor rotunda, and other areas to greet lawmakers as the enter the chambers for session. Keep in mind that General Assembly rules state that we cannot be disruptive and we cannot impede the movement of others in the building. Our goal is a positive, respectful display of power with numbers.
For the first time, there will be metal detectors to enter. This has cut down the number of entry points significantly. Please have patience with General Assembly police as this will be one of their first days. Their goal is to move as many people through as possible, and keeping in mind safety.
To that end, it would expedite the process if you carried as little as possible. We know that will be difficult for a long day; but try to have what you need in your pockets and not have bags. Bags will take longer to search. Attendees with bags may get diverted to the back doors with metal detectors to expedite getting as many people in the building has possible. When you enter the building, keep the volume to a minimum and it will help expedite the process.
You should set up appointment now with lawmakers if you have not already. Those should be made at 1 p.m. of after. If you can get 5-15 minutes with your lawmakers, that we could great. We will have some materials here when you arrive that will help you. Between 1-3 p.m. is also the time for self-nourishment. There are eating establishments around the Capitol. It’s a long day and make sure you take care of yourself. You may want to bring a water bottle to fill-up at various water fountain locations in the Legislative Building.
There will be a respite station in the park to the east of the Legislative Building Wilmington Street. There will be water and portable toilets. There is also shade there and a few benches. We are also permitted to be in the grassy areas on the east side of the capital, but the any noise has to allow for people to work.
The rally begins at 3:30 p.m. sharp so start convening in Bicentennial Plaza Mall (in front of Legislative Building) beginning around 3 p.m. We want a maximum crowd at 3:30 p.m. Signs are allowed, but not on sticks. Since it’s business hours, there are some restrictions on the PA system. We cannot block the museum entrances and we cannot impede other pedestrian traffic on the outer edges of the Plaza. We have a great line-up of educator leaders and other special guests.
For NCAE members who attend, while supplies and sizes last, we will have Respect for Public Education T-shirts at no charge. You can pick them up the morning of the 16th when you sign-in at NCAE. It will be a “red out” in Raleigh that day. We will have buttons, signs, and other information. But feel free to bring your own creative signs.
HASHTAGS FOR SOCIAL MEDIA:
#Red4Ed, #NCAEStrong, #ItsPersonal, #GetReady, #TeamNCAE
WHAT IF YOU CAN’T COME:
There are lots of ways to show solidarity. That day is our regular #Red4Ed Wednesday, so take pictures and post on social media. Some of the other hashtags we will be using that day include #NCAEStrong, #GetReady, and #ItsPersonal. You can also hold your own “Walk-In” to your school on that day before students go into schools. You can have signs and bring in community members. If you need more information on Walk-Ins, contact email@example.com.
On May 16 we March for Students, we Rally for Respect, and we advocate for public schools. As you know, we recognize #Red4Ed each Wednesday. Let’s have a sea of #Red4Ed on Jones Street on May 16. RSVP at this link:
We need ALL of you there. Recruit members and other community supporters of our public schools to join us.