Teachers held walkouts this year in at least six states: West Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arizona, Colorado, and North Carolina. The reason often cited in news headlines is salary. But take a deeper dive, and you hear concerns about pension funds, funding for K-12 curriculum, and intangibles – like the lack of respect for the profession.
In the Cape Fear Region, New Hanover, Brunswick, and Pender Counties all closed their public schools on Wednesday, May 16th – as did thirty-nine other school districts in the state. Close to 19,000 people descended on Raleigh to participate in what was dubbed a “March for Students and Rally for Respect.”
North Carolina is a right-to-work state and there is no official union. But the North Carolina Association of Educators, or NCAE, is the closest relative as an advocacy group for public school employees. NCAE sponsored the May 16th rally and is pushing for increased per-pupil spending and bring North Carolina teacher salaries up to par with the national average.
On this edition of CoastLine, we’ll take a closer look at life as a teacher in North Carolina.
Marsha Carr has worked in the educational system in West Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina. She has served as a teacher, principal, and was the first female school superintendent for one school district in West Virginia. She is currently an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Educational Leadership at the Watson College of Education at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.