CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - In just a few weeks, North Carolina teachers will head back to the streets of Raleigh.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools say as of Thursday, more than 350 teachers have submitted time off requests for the event May 1.
“We made great change in Mecklenburg County,” Amanda Thompson of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Association of Educators says. “There’s still lots of change to be made as far as the state.”
In 2018, 2,000 CMS staff members joined the crowd marching through Raleigh’s streets. Organizers are hoping this year will match that number – or increase.
“We’ve seen what our colleagues have done in California, in Oregon, in West Virginia,” Thompson says. “So, why not?”
Superintendent Dr. Clayton Wilcox’s proposed budget for the coming year calls for higher pay for his teachers and staff, with one local line item aiming to make them the highest paid in the state.
This group is noticing.
“Of course, students first,” Thompson says. “But he also shows where he values the adults.”
But, they insist, there’s still room to grow.
“Last year we went with the idea of, ‘Let’s just change the legislation,” she says. “This year we’re saying, ‘Hey, we have five major asks.”
Those ‘major asks’ include more support staff, a $15 staff minimum wage, expansion of Medicaid, retirement and health benefits, and better advanced degree pay.
“Always celebrate small successes,” Thompson says. “But it’s not a victory until we really won.”
Last year, CMS schools closed the day these teachers traveled across the state.
Thursday, CMS says:
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.