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Thousands of educators from across the state submitted personal days on May 16

to advocate for better classroom funding

RALEIGH, N.C. – On May 16, 2018, the North Carolina Association of Educators will hold a March for Students and Rally for Respect as part of its annual Advocacy Day. Thousands of educators are expected. However, May 16 is the beginning. It’s the beginning of a six-month stretch of time to hold our legislators accountable for prioritizing corporate tax cuts, instead of our classrooms. The ultimate goal is electing more pro-public education leaders in North Carolina to return our state back to a beacon for public schools.

Gov. Cooper released a budget last week that makes critical investments in our students, educators, and families. There are investments in textbooks, supplies, school infrastructure, and significant educator raises that get North Carolina back on track to reach the national average in four years.

In advance of the March for Students and Rally for Respect, public school educators are announcing the following specific expectations of North Carolina’s elected legislators:

    • Per-Pupil Spending to the National Average in Four Years

    • A Multi-Year Professional Compensation and Benefits Plan for ALL Educators that includes:

        • Ending Experienced Educator Pay Discrimination

        • Average Teacher Pay to National Average in Four Years

        • Significant and Livable Raises for ALL Public School Employees

        • Restoring Advanced Degree Pay

        • Restoring Longevity Pay

        • Annual Cost-of-Living Increase

        • Enhanced and Protected Health Insurance and Pension

        • Ending Pay for Performance Based on Test Scores, Including for Administrators

        • Reinstating Career Status

        • Real Dedicated Planning Time and Lunch Time

    • Investing in the Health and Well-Being of our Students and Making Schools Safer including:

        • At least 500 additional school nurses, social workers, and counselors this year

        • Improve health options for our most vulnerable students by expanding Medicaid

    • Fix Our Crumbling Schools and Large Class Sizes With a $1.9 Billion Statewide School Construction Bond

    • No Corporate Tax Cuts Until Per-Pupil Spending and Teacher Pay Reach the National Average

“North Carolina public school educators, parents, and our communities demand better for our students,” said NCAE President Mark Jewell. “These specific public education priorities will give every student an opportunity to succeed and help recruit and retain educators as we face a critical shortage in our classrooms and school buildings.”

In North Carolina, per-pupil spending is $2,400 behind the national average and average teacher pay is about $9,600 behind the national average, both in the bottom tier of states. When accounting for inflation, our students and educators lag even further behind.

NCAE is the state’s largest education advocacy organization for public school employees, and represents active, student, and retired members.

In Unity,

Mark Jewell, NCAE president

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Standing from left to right: June Vann and Julia Brown at Zeta State with the plastic figure of Leroy the Leadership Guy

During Easter vacation, two local county teachers spent three days studying issues affecting the teaching profession at the North Carolina Zeta state convention held in Greenville on April 25 through April 27. These delegates are Beaufort Elementary teacher June Vann, who has served the local county chapter Gamma Zeta as its president for the past six years, and East Carteret teacher Julia Brown, who is newly elected as its first vice president.

Zeta is the state organization of Delta Kappa Gamma, an honorary international women educators’ society that seeks to unite professionals in spiritual fellowship, to honor teachers of distinction, to advance profession interests and positions of women in education, to advocate for best policies affecting the profession, to assist in establishing purposeful legislation furthering education and women educators, to give scholarships to women in pursuing graduate studies, to support professional growth, and to inform its members of current economic, social, political and educational issues to empower women in a global society.

The 2014 theme for the society is "Using Courage to Advocate Personally and Professionally.” Mrs. Vann was our county’s planning committee member and was instrumental in raising funds for aiding schools in Africa and for funding endowments to two principals seeking their doctorate and a teacher seeking her masters degree.

North Carolina state president Patricia Taylor selected Ms. Brown to be the state flag bearer for the opening ceremonies. Ms. Brown’s participation was sponsored by Gamma Zeta member Ginny Temple who had originally brought Ms. Brown to the society in 2004.

The delegates studied common core state standards, engaging strategies for the classroom, hands-on learning activities, teacher leadership, mentoring, supporting beginning teachers, teaching apps, and communication with legislators. The latter session explored legislation and court decisions regarding teacher compensation, graduate degrees, school vouchers, charter schools, constitutionality, retirement benefits, merit pay, and policy transparency.

If you are an administrator or teacher interested in becoming a part of this fellowship, active and retired women educators should email its newly elected president Dora Edwards doraedwards70@gmail.com Send your requests for particular learning events to its first vice president Julia Brown at julia1@stanfordalumni.org