As the Day of Action approached, Progress NC Action wrote, As thousands of educators march on Raleigh, lawmakers go on the attack in reference to the House budget which would

essentially ban further teacher marches during a school day. Educators are already banned from collective bargaining, and they are banned from going on strike. This is yet another gratuitous attack on educators’ First Amendment rights. Lawmakers’ retaliation against the teacher march shows why it is even more important for every North Carolina public school employee to join the march on May 1 and show the politicians that educators will not be silenced. . . . The fight for North Carolina public schools will not end on May 1, and it won’t end because of a budget provision aimed at silencing educators. This is only the beginning.

Thank you for turning out for the May 1, Day of Action to support our public schools. A special thank you to the legislators who supported the efforts that day and showed that we are #inthistogether. (Click here, here, and here for a small sample of tweets.) The fight is far from over. In the words of Rev. Barber, “the people have a right to assemble, to consort for the common good, and . . . to teach their representatives. It is time to teach this legislature a lesson.” (watch the video here.) Rev. Barber, we will continue to teach our legislators what we know to be true including the need to

  • 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

Before the Day of Action on Wednesday, the Capitol Broadcasting Company stated

Blinded by partisanship, legislative leaders shortchange public schools in favor of huge and unnecessary cuts in corporate taxes – that even today continues unabated.Voters need no more illustration than the penny-pinched education budget the state House of Representatives is poised to approve.

The House budget passed Friday afternoon. Here are a few areas to note.

-Regarding the attempt to silence teacher voices, representatives filed an amendment to strike language from the House budget (which attempts to keep teachers from assembling on a school day and limits use of personal days) but the amendment was tabled. (Click here.)

-Regarding raises the average proposed would be about 4.6 percent for teachers, 10% for principals, and 1% for non-certified school staff. Read more details here. It is also important to note that raises would not begin until January.

-Read more highlights from the Public School Forum of NC here (listed on Thursday prior to the final version which passed on Friday afternoon) including teaching fellows, classroom supplies, A-F school grades, school safety, school vouchers, and virtual pre-K. Please note, that changes were made to the budget regarding virtual pre-K and funding was restored. Read more here and here.

Stay tuned as we continue to follow the budget. We expect it to continue well into the summer.

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