Durham educators protesting in hopes to garner more school funding

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Durham educators are trying to keep the pressure on state lawmakers to pass a budget that includes more school funding. The Durham Association of Educators organizing pickets and walk-ins Wednesday morning at four local schools. 

“Teachers are a pretty integral part of our lives,” Carisa Dodson, a parent said.

Dodson spent part of her afternoon with her daughter making signs for Wednesday’s protest. 

“Everybody should be supporting our teachers and it’s important that they’re getting paid adequately for all the work that they do,” Dodson said.
Back in May, tens of thousands of educators, parents, and students filled Downtown Raleigh with a message for state lawmakers. 

Since then there’s been talk but no action. 

“We shouldn’t be yielding. We need to demand what we need in the budget to be successful,” Kelly Shearon, a 5th grade teacher said.

They’re calling for increased funding for support staff like librarians and social workers, a $15 an hour minimum wage for all school staff, expanded Medicaid, restoring benefits for retired educators and restoring compensation for advanced degrees. 

“Governor Cooper’s compromise budget echoes our 5 demands in some important ways,” Anna Grant, a Durham educator said.

The legislative session ended last week without state lawmakers approving a new budget. 

Instead, they passed mini-budgets, funding various agencies and programs.

One of them included a raise for teachers, but still less than what the Governor has called for. 

“This sort of teacher pay bill is really trying to buy us off and trying to pit teachers against our families and communities that need Medicaid expansion that need all these other things,” Grant said. 

Republican leaders stressed teachers are getting raises for the 6th and 7th years in a row. 

The four Durham schools involved include Riverside and Hillside High Schools as well as Southwest and Lakewood Elementary schools. 

When: Wednesday, November 6th: 7:15 a.m., Lakewood Elementary; 8:10 a.m. at Hillside High School

  • 7:15-7:45 a.m. @ Lakewood Elementary School: 2520 Vesson Avenue, Durham NC 27701
  • 8:10-8:30 a.m. @ Hillside High School: 3727 Fayetteville Street, Durham NC 27707

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