Category Archives: teachers

NC NOW Legislative Update, 21 May 2018

This is the NC NOW Legislative Update (dated 20 May 18) for the NC General Assembly’s 2018 “short session” which began on 5/16/18.

NC Teachers show up as a sea of red for ed to greet the NCGA’s return for the “short session.”

Photo Credit: Vicki Vars Boyer

On opening day between 20,000 and 30,000 teachers from all across the state marched and rallied in Raleigh in support of higher pay for teachers and more funding for schools.  Many took the opportunity to visit their representatives to explain that over the past 10 years teacher pay and per capita spending for students has actually declined when adjusted for inflation.

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Events Against Gun Violence – RTP Area

The latest school massacre, which was in Parkland Florida on Valentines Day (2/14/18), may have more of a lasting impact that previous ones. The teen survivors are calling out the blame mongering and refusal of Congress and Trump to do their jobs in protecting children and teachers – and making a concerted effort to pull in others through social media. And they are not putting on a polite front in their speeches or in interviews. For example, teen survivor Emma Gonzalez gave an amazing, heartfelt, passionate speech calling out President Trump, the GOP, and the NRA for enabling the murder of children at an anti-gun rally. 

“How about we stop blaming the victims for something that was the shooter’s fault?” [Emma Gonzalez] demanded, and called out those who do deserve to shoulder that blame.

Emma Gonzalez speaking at anti-gun rally following Parkland Florida High School massacre. Photo Credit: CNN.com

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NC NOW Legislative Update #21 – NC Budget Bad For Women

NC Budget Summary from NC NOW Legislative Update #21 – 25Jun17.

A budget has passed and has gone to the Governor, who has ten days to sign it, veto it, or allow it to become law without his signature. Governor Cooper is expected to veto the budget since he has been strongly critical of it: http://www.wral.com/cooper-calls-budget-deal-irresponsible-/16774013/, 6/20/17. But if the budget is vetoed, expect an override since Republicans hold veto-proof majorities in both the House and Senate.

The budget intensifies the attack on women’s reproductive rights by appropriating $2.6 million to crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) over a two-year period. So-called crisis pregnancy centers are religious “ministries” that attempt to persuade women wanting abortions not to have them, often using scare tactics and false information such as claiming that having an abortion will leave a woman sterile or put her at risk for cancer. This appropriation represents an increase of one million dollars per year. See: https://www.indyweek.com/news/archives/2017/06/20/ncga-budget-gives-26-million-to-crisis-pregnancy-centers, 6/20/17.

Crisis Pregnancy Center Protest
Photo Credit: Whole Woman’s Health Blog

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Shining the light on anti-immigrant program targeting teenagers

I am inspired by some of President Obama’s speeches, but appalled at his Operation Border Guardian which directs Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to take children (18 years old) and throw them in jails, sometimes private jails (even worse). In implementation, ICE is grabbing these teenagers on their way to school, off school buses, and out of stairwells at school – cases of these known in Wake and Durham counties. Our state conference included a workshop on what it took a Durham school community to save (or at least give a chance to) teenager Wildin Acosta (also one on racism). Read about the community effort at “In Defense Of Wildin Acosta,“9/26/16, northcarolinanow.org.
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Durham Community Rally to free Wildin Acosta. Photo Credit: ABC

 

 

 

 

 

We cover more about what is being done to these teens at “One saved, one lost of the NC 6 plus more,“9/26/16, northcarolinanow.org. The most heinous case I know came out of Durham County (probably because the Durham Community is fighting this). Here are some of the Durhamites fighting this!

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Give teacher raises with one hand, but with the other hand..

The Senate and House Budgets both give teachers modest pay raises, but continue to ignore most other school staff. Instead of hiring back the over 3000 TAs they forced schools to drop in 2013, they are proposing ways to ‘help’ after a problem has been manifested with “literacy coaches.” More at “Proposed House education budget cuts $27 million for reducing first-grade class sizes, reallocates most to literacy coaches.”  At the same time, the NCGA plans to take even more money from public education.

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Teachers: Public school system in crisis. STOP. Send money! STOP.

Educators and advocates in red are getting the word out in multiple ways about the state of public education in  NC. 

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People really care about public schools! Photo credit: Yevonne Brannon

The 2 day teacher trek

More than 50 teachers, parents and advocates marched 23 miles from Durham to the Capitol to bring attention to the needs of their students June 14 and 15, 2016. The 2 day teacher trek was previewed by CBS News affiliate WCNC on 5/28/16 in “Teachers plan 20 mile march to Raleigh for better school conditions.” Millbrook Elementary School teacher Kristen Beller said “[W]e know the reason our schools are not performing as high as they’re expected to is they’ve been stripped of resources.” What does she mean? Books! Pencils! Paper! Teacher Assistants! Support staff! Teachers have to buy  some of these basics themselves. On the other hand, Beller said the classroom has become a safe haven for some of the lower income students. “We need more resources just to keep these children clean and fed.”

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