Join us for a Day of Action May 1, 2019. 700 S. Salisbury St. Raleigh. 9am - 5pm.
We are just two days from the #AllOutMay1 Day of Action! Here’s some general information about the day.
Who: Last week our post was about explaining who should be marching on May 1 (the answer is EVERYONE because we are #InThisTogether.) The most recent count I have seen shows 31 school districts and 4 charter schools have closed for May 1. (See list here which is periodically updated.)
What and When: Visit here for more information about registering, logistics for the day, etc. including a schedule, route, and comfort stations along the way.
Why: Here’s a quick run down of what we are marching and rallying for:
5/1: Five issues, one day.
- Provide enough school librarians, psychologists, social workers, counselors, nurses, and other health professionals to meet national standards
- Provide $15 minimum wage for all school personnel, 5% raise for all ESPs (non-certified staff), teachers, admin, and a 5% cost of living adjustment for retirees
- Expand Medicaid to improve the health of our students and families
- Reinstate state retiree health benefits eliminated by the General Assembly in 2017
- Restore advanced degree compensation stripped by the General Assembly in 2013
Also, be sure to read Public School First NC’s explanation in last Monday’s blog post for why public schools are important for everyone.
Today we are focusing more on the why again. This time the emphasis is on the hashtag #ItsPersonal. There are so many reasons why this Day of Action is personal to all of us.
First let’s start with the NC House budget that was released on Friday.You can look at the headline of this news story and see why #ItsPersonal, Really Personal! NC lawmakers want to shut down future teacher rallies on school days. According to the News and Observer the proposed NC House budget
would change state law to say that schools can’t give permission for teachers to use personal leave on a school day unless they can confirm that a substitute teacher is available. School districts have cited the lack of substitutes to cancel classes, both for last year’s mass teacher rally and the one scheduled for May 1 in Raleigh.
“A local board of education shall not alter a school calendar once adopted unless necessary to address a severe weather condition, energy shortage, utility failure, public health crisis, school safety crisis, emergency related to a school building or school transportation, or act of God,” according to the budget documents.
The News and Observer went on to quote NCAE President Mark Jewell
"We are deeply concerned about the attempt to prevent local boards of education from altering their schedules to accommodate local needs. . . . The intent is clearly to prevent educators from coming to Raleigh to make our voice heard, as we will be doing on May 1. . . . If lawmakers really want to stop educators from marching in Raleigh, they should work with us to address our legislative priorities in order to provide a high-quality, public education to all children in North Carolina.”
Read more here and here about how the legislators are attempting to silence educators. This attempt at silencing educators has been ongoing. NC public employees have do not have collective bargaining rights. Read more here and here about this and how House Bill 710 and Senate Bill 575 would repeal North Carolina General Statute section 95-98.
We know that the planned day of action comes with opposition from NC State Superintendent, Mark Johnson and State Senate leader Phil Berger. (Read more here on the opposition and the rebuttal to what Senator Berger calls the “facts.”) Senator Berger actually has given multiple posts, interviews, press releases, etc. attempting to dismiss the five priorities of the May 1 Day of Action including how advanced degree pay, Medicaid expansion, and more school nurses, psychologists, and counselors are unnecessary and saying that“the NCAE’s primary motivation is not education or teachers. . . . “ Yes #ItsPersonal
Superintendent Johnson has also tried to discredit educators. He released (under the direction of the NCGA) the NC Schools finances website which attempts to show “greater transparency.” As a part of this he released numbers which compare teacher average salaries to mean salaries (clearly not comparable). Read more here.
Stu Egan, who writes Caffeinated Rage wrote
the last seven-year period in North Carolina has been a calculated attempt at undermining public schools with over twenty different actions that have been deliberately crafted and executed along three different fronts: actions against teachers, actions against public schools, and actions to deceive the public.
Read more here. #ItsPersonal
Here’s an article written in EdWeek that shows #ItsPersonal: A Letter to N.C. Students: Here’s Why Your Teachers Are Marching.
Finally let’s look at some personal stories shared at a recent Wake County Board of Education meeting by educators about why the five issues are important. #ItsPersonal
Priority #3: Fund the $15/hr minimum wage given to all other state employees last year and provide 5% increases to all public school employees, including a cost of living adjustment for retired school professionals.
So when we say #ItsPersonal, we really mean it’s personal. Join us in telling the NCGA that these five priorities we are marching and rallying for on May 1 are important and personal. Write your legislators and tell them “we’re done with your games.” Email and tweet them this image and tell them to support the bills listed under "our needs."
Tell legislators we will see them May 1. See you soon and bring friends!
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