Wednesday's HOT MIC
Teachers around the country have been going on strike for better wages and an increase in education dollars at the state level.
The labor action is the latest in a string of teacher uprisings across the country this year that have prompted strikes in West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Arizona. Educators in Kentucky and Colorado have also taken action, staging walkouts and sick-outs in hopes of pressuring lawmakers to stop a decade of cuts in education funding the teachers say have hurt students.
In Puerto Rico, thousands of teachers walked out of classes in March to protest the cash-strapped government's plan to shut down more than 300 schools this year as the unincorporated U.S. territory struggles to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Maria in September.
Mark Jewell, president of the North Carolina Association of Educators, said up to 15,000 teachers are expected to march and rally at the state Capitol in Raleigh on Wednesday morning.
The teachers will be marching "to let our General Assembly know and our elected policymakers that this is really about accountability," he said.
The North Carolina educators say their top goal is to get legislators to increase annual per-pupil funding, which is currently about $9,329, according to a 2018 report by the National Education Association.
"We are currently about $2,400 below the national average in how we fund our public school children," Jewell said at a news conference in Raleigh on Monday.
North Carolina teachers are calling for higher pay. The average salary for teachers in the state is $49,970, or about $9,000 below the national average, Jewell said.
There used to be something called "public service" where teachers, cops, firefighters, government workers used to take less in salary in exchange for respect and a certain standing in the community. The title "public servant" used to be something to be proud of.
And now? Public unions give huge amounts to politicians who then vote on what their salary will be. What's wrong with this picture?
I think it ludicrous that athletes playing a kids game make $10 million a year and teachers only a fraction of that. But I also think it ludicrous that teachers should be able to hold up the taxpayer because the numskulls in the state legislature refuse to prioritize education.