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'We’re grossly underfunding our schools': North Carolina teachers rally for education funding

Jacob Staggers, a sixth-grade English teacher at South Middle School in Morgantown, W.Va., holds up a sign outside the state Senate chambers at the Capitol in Charleston, W.Va., on Thursday, March 1, 2018. Teachers returned to the Capitol to pressure lawmakers to push through teacher pay raises and monitor progress on a task force that will eventually address their insurance coverage. (AP Photo/John Raby)

West Virginia teachers kicked it all off

North Carolina teachers have become the latest to walk out, closing schools to rally for education funding. Dozens of school districts covering more than a million students were closed Wednesday, as teachers headed to the state capitol to fight for the radical demand that the state increase its teacher salaries and per-pupil funding all the way to the national averages—“We’re grossly underfunding our schools,” said North Carolina Association of Educators President Mark Jewell.

The teachers’ other demands included that:

The Republican-led legislature should expand Medicaid coverage so students and their families stay healthy, and cancel corporate tax cuts until school spending is increased, Jewell said.

While the school closures are planned for only one day rather than an extended walkout, as in West Virginia, Oklahoma and Arizona, the teachers have a longer-term plan:

“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,” according to the North Carolina Association of Educators.

In other words, vote them the hell out if they don’t put education over corporate tax cuts. And since North Carolina Republican lawmakers are certainly not going to put education over corporate tax cuts, the task is clear.

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