CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A group of North Carolina educators is calling for a new list of demands following the march in Raleigh on May 16.
Red4EdNC released a “Declaration in Defense of NC’s Public Schoolchildren” on July 4. The document detailed a list of grievances and solutions regarding education in the Tar Heel State. Issues that include funding, staffing, standardized testing, a “school report card” system, educator salaries, education policies and more.
Justin Parmenter, an advisory board member representing Mecklenburg County on Red4EdNC, said the march in Raleigh was just the start.
“The goal of RedforEdNC is that May 16th be the beginning of a movement and not just a single moment in time,” Parmenter said.
The group is taking the momentum from the march and turning it into action in North Carolina school districts. Red4EdNC said more than 270 people have signed its declaration so far. Their goal is to have educators from at least 100 school districts add their names to that list.
“Teachers have had enough of the quality of education that we’re offering in North Carolina,” Parmenter said. “That we are ready for change and that we’re demanding a change.”
Red4EdNC called for a North Carolina Teacher Congress in its declaration. The body of educators would represent teachers across the state in determining a set of legislative demands.
“I think we’re just at the point where we’ve just had enough,” Parmenter said. “We’re ready for things to change.”
If demands are not met, Parmenter said Red4EdNC will consider more collective actions if needed. The Charlotte Mecklenburg Association of Educators (CMAE) supported the declaration by Red4EdNC.
“At this time, we (CMAE/NCAE) are focused on changing the politicians in Raleigh who are making this impossible for students to get the resources they need. Red4EdNC is preparing for the possibility of a more forceful effort with the idea of collective action and ideas of multi-strikes which might be needed if we don’t flip the legislation like the efforts we saw in West Virginia, Oklahoma, etc. Some of our members are involved with Red4EdNC and the rest of us will join their efforts when the time comes. We are all angered and demand change,” said CMAE President Erlene Lyde in a statement.