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Why NC Teachers Are Walking Out Of Their Classrooms Tomorrow

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

Following the success of last year’s walkout, North Carolina teachers are staging another protest tomorrow. This year an expected 31 school districts have cancelled classes in anticipation of the rally. Stated goals include: increasing minimum wage to $15; reinstating compensation for advanced degrees; and providing more classroom support.

Host Frank Stasio is joined by teachers and a scholar to preview tomorrow’s walk out. Primary school teacher Turquoise Parker works at Glenn Elementary School in Durham. She remembers her mother’s career-long commitment to public education and the hoops she would jump through for her students while working as a guidance counselor. Even her mother’s struggles did not prepare her for what awaited. Parker joins host Frank Stasio to share the hopes and disappointments of teaching, why she joined the Durham Association of Educators, and the role the union plays in a “right-to-work” state. Professor David A. Zonderman of North Carolina State University teaches American labor history and joins the discussion with a lesson on the labor movement, teachers unions and the national movement forged by educators in the past few years. Bryan Proffitt is president of the Durham Association of Educators. He joins host Frank Stasio to share the progress made in the state since last year’s walk out.

Dana is an award-winning producer who began as a personality at Rock 92. Once she started creating content for morning shows, she developed a love for producing. Dana has written and produced for local and syndicated commercial radio for over a decade. WUNC is her debut into public radio and she’s excited to tell deeper, richer stories.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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