North Carolina teachers staging rallies to protest low pay

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The recent wave of teacher activism sweeping through conservative, tax-cutting states is hitting North Carolina as educators greet returning state legislators with demands for better pay and school resources.

About 15,000 teachers are expected in Raleigh on Wednesday, when the Republican-dominated state legislature begins its annual session.

More than three dozen school districts have decided to close classrooms that day, meaning an unplanned day off for more than two-thirds of the state's 1.5 million public school students.

The National Education Association reported last month that North Carolina teachers earn about $50,000 on average, ranking them 39th in the country last year. Planned raises this year would make five straight annual increases. But the NEA says that still represents more than a 9 percent slide in real income since 2009 due to inflation.


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