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Dozens of Carolina school districts preparing for May 1 teacher rally

Educators are asking for better pay, increased security and more funding for schools. They say they're not walking out on students, instead they're voicing those concerns for them.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Dozens of school districts across the Carolinas are preparing to shut down Wednesday when thousands of teachers plan to attend a march in Raleigh for better pay and school funding. 

As of Monday morning, more than 30 North Carolina districts, including Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, will be closed. In South Carolina, Chester County is among three districts closed for the march. 

Educators are asking for better pay, increased security and more funding for schools. They say they're not walking out on students, instead they're voicing those concerns for them. Last year, more than 19,000 teachers marched on the capitol in Raleigh. 

"We really don't think they believed that we were serious, and so we've got to do it again,” said Erlene Lyde, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Association of Educators (CMAE) president.

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The rally will leave more than 250,000 students without a place to go Wednesday, leaving parents scrambling for child care on what was expected to be a school day just a few weeks ago. Charlotte Bette Rae Thomas Recreation Center said it will be opening all day to help parents Wednesday. 

South Carolina teachers planned their march after state lawmakers proposed a four-percent raise instead of the requested 10 percent. 

"Our system is designed for people to be engaged," said one teacher. "We have to be engaged."

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