May 16 Day of Advocacy

photo of eastman amongst red and blue baloons, speaking at a podium
Nati Harnik / AP Photo

Female candidates swept primary elections in Pennsylvania and Nebraska this week. Will this wave continue into the November midterm elections? And Wednesday’s teacher rally in Raleigh is part of a wave of teacher protests in red states. What impact could this have on the midterms?

Delven Mearis of Durham Public Schools rallied as small crowd waited for busloads of teachers to arrive ahead of the march.
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

As they packed up their protest signs and returned to the classroom to finish out the school year, thousands of teachers in North Carolina turned their attention to a different fight: The midterm elections.

Participants make their way towards the Legislative Building during a teachers rally at the General Assembly. Thousands of teachers rallied the state capital seeking a political showdown over wages and funding for public school classrooms.
Gerry Broome / AP

Thousands of North Carolina educators mounted a historic demonstration outside the state Capitol Wednesday as lawmakers arrived for the start of a short session. While the halls in many of the state's schools were quiet, the streets of downtown Raleigh thundered with voices of teachers and their supporters.

Supporters of increased school funding gathered in front of the legislative building on Wednesday.
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Top Republicans on the House Select Committee on School Safety say they are poised to introduce bills for more than $20 million in funding for new initiatives.

Supporters of raising pay for teachers began to march in downtown Raleigh on Wednesday morning.
James Morrison / WUNC

Thousands of North Carolina teachers march through the streets of Raleigh on Wednesday to call for higher pay and for more resources for their students. The march is part of the wave of educator-led activism across the nation in backlash to federal and state-level education budget cuts.

Educators filed into the General Assembly building Wednesday as lawmakers gaveled in the 2018 session
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Kitchen worker Nancy Martinez serves breakfast at an elementary cafeteria in Chandler, Arizona during a teacher strike there. North Carolina teachers are walking in AZ teachers' footsteps with protests this Wednesday.
Matt York / AP

A total of 38 school districts will be closed for classes Wednesday while thousands of teachers march to the Capitol to call for better school funding. Some schools will hold an optional workday, with limited operations. That means many hourly employees, like cafeteria workers or bus drivers, could miss out on a day of work.

A sign indicating a teacher work area inside a public school in Wake County.
Brian Batista / For WUNC

The recent wave of teacher activism sweeping through conservative, tax-cutting states has washed into North Carolina, where educators have pledged to fill the streets and bring their demands for better pay and school resources to legislators' doorstep.

classroom
Malate269 / Wikimedia Commons

Nearly 40 school districts in North Carolina will close schools on Wednesday, May 16. That is the opening day for the legislative session, and thousands of teachers from around the state plan to protest in Raleigh for better pay and working conditions. The demonstration comes as teachers strike and walk out in other states around the country, like Arizona, West Virginia, and Kentucky.

Third grade teachers, Brittney Dennis, left, and Sabrina Peacock.
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

Thousands of North Carolina teachers will attend a rally at the Capitol Wednesday. They will call on legislators to restore funding and initiatives for teachers and students that were eliminated in the past decade.  Brittney Dennis and Sabrina Peacock are two third-grade teachers at different stages of their careers.  The two sat down to talk about the many cuts they have seen through the years, and why they plan to march. 

Teachers walk in together as they arrive for work at San Marcos Elementary School Friday, May 4, 2018, in Chandler, Ariz., after a statewide teachers strike ended. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Matt York / AP

This Wednesday more than 10,000 teachers are expected in Raleigh on the General Assembly's opening day to demand better pay and working conditions.

Veteran educators say those demands are about restoring education funding to what it was before the recession hit and a wave of Republican-led policies and tax cuts dismantled their benefits.

Teachers have adopted the tagline: "It's Personal."