RALEIGH, N.C. — Teachers across North Carolina are preparing to rally for the second year in a row.
Last year more than 19,000 teachers marched on Raleigh, demanding better pay and resources.
This year, teachers are planning another rally for May 1, heading to the state capital with a new list of demands.
"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.
The North Carolina Association of Educators released the list of demands for this year, including the following:
- Additional funding to adequately staff schools with psychologists, social workers, nurses, and librarians
- Restoration of extra pay for advanced degrees
- Increase the minimum wage for all school personnel to $15 per hour and a 5 percent cost-of-living-adjustment for school employees and retirees
- Expand Medicaid to improve the health of students and their families
- Restore retiree health benefits for teachers hired after 2021
“We’ve got to have help because our children are going through so much,” Lyde said.
Lyde added that all the demands fit together in that they work together to create strong students, strong schools, and strong communities.
The May 1 rally is not just for teachers this year, according to Lyde. This year, she said they will be marching for all school employees.
"This is the framework for where we think we need to get North Carolina back to the glory days,” Lyde said.
According to the Raleigh NBC affiliate WRAL, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, Durham Public School, Lexington City Schools, and Orange County Schools have all announced they will be out on May 1.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Dr. Clayton Wilcox has not made a decision on the matter.
A statement from CMS said, “CMS continues to monitor the situation and will act to best ensure the safety of students and staff while maximizing each day of teaching and learning during the school year. The district will update students, families, staff and the community as information is available.”
CMAE is encouraging school employees to put in for a day of leave to join the march in Raleigh.
"This one is for everybody, not just teachers," Lyde said, adding, "We want them to know we're fighting for all."
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