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With Stalled Education Funding, What Is At Stake For Teachers And Students?

Teachers on a sidewalk holding signs that read 'Proud Public School Teacher.'
Cole del Charco / WUNC
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Some teachers say the General Assembly prioritized tax cuts for corporations this session while neglecting to give them, or education, a raise.

The 2019 legislative session ended with no compromise on teacher pay raises. Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed Republican leaders’ final proposal of an average 3.9% increase, calling it “inadequate.”

Teachers in North Carolina can't strike, so they've been trying to find other ways to express their displeasure at not getting a raise. There have been these things called walk-ins ... Teachers have been holding signs and saying they want more funding. They want higher salaries. —Cole del Charco

The budget stalemate also left other education funding in limbo, including money for construction projects and supplies necessary to support new curriculum. North Carolina teachers, who are prohibited from striking, demonstrated with protests last month, including picketing outside before classes.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Cole del Charco, WUNC’s Fletcher Fellow for education policy reporting, about teachers’ reactions to the funding stalemate. He also shares the latest on the almost $9 million budget shortfall in Johnston County and how mid-year teacher raises in larger counties, like Wake and Mecklenburg, widen the gap between urban and rural teacher pay.

Anita Rao is an award-winning journalist and the host and creator of "Embodied," a live, weekly radio show and seasonal podcast about sex, relationships & health. She's also the managing editor of WUNC's on-demand content.
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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