Teachers are gathering outside of schools across the state Monday in protest.
The “teacher walk-in” is being staged before and after the school day by those who feel disrespected by changes to education policies in the most recent legislative session.
Those policies include the elimination of tenure, discontinuing salary increases for teachers who earn master’s degrees, and no money in the budget for textbooks.
"It’s a whole slew of bad legislation and bad policy that was shoved into the budget. It’s just bad practice. It’s a bad way to do business on behalf of this leadership," says Rodney Ellis, president of the North Carolina Association of Educators.
The leadership, including Senate Leader Phil Berger, condemned the walk-in in a statement last week. He said it jeopardized student safety. Other Republicans say teachers are using schools to make political statements. Teachers are prohibited by state law from going on strike or collective bargaining.
State rankings from the National Education Association show that North Carolina teachers currently rank 46th in the country in average salary.