Teachers rally at State Capitol to raise pay to national average


Teachers are urging state leaders to come up with the money to once again make teachers' salaries in North Carolina consistent with the national average.

The rally comes at a time when some politicians are backing the idea, and teachers have seized the opportunity to create a new organization, "Aim Higher North Carolina," to back their efforts.

Polls show that raising teacher pay to the national average has broad bi-partisan support among citizens. Still, those citizens will have to push both parties according to one teacher who is a registered Republican.

"I am speaking as someone who teaches in the school system and has consistently voted Republican in past elections. However, this is not a political issue or about partisan politics. It is much larger than that," said teacher Suzzette Acree. "I want us to all work together. I think we have to. We have no choice but to work together. It can't be about one party and the other party. It has to be about our students."

One liberal leaning pollster puts more than 70 percent of the state's voters on both sides of the aisle in favor of raising teacher pay to the national average.

"Sounds like there's a lot of bipartisan support for just helping teachers out and helping us to have normal paying jobs so we can support our families," said teacher Tim Kohring.

Former N.C. Governor Jim Hunt has jumped on the bandwagon writing an op-ed piece that ran in newspapers across the state. He reminded readers that he lead a bipartisan effort in the mid-to-late 1990's to raise teacher pay to the national average. However, it did not hold.

"The reality is in the last eight years we've gone from 23rd in the nation down to 46th," said North Garner Middle School teacher Marcia Timmel.

Timmel says her daughter who recently graduated from college decided not to become a teacher and take on a large classroom; instead, she is caring for just two children as a nanny and making $10,000 a year more than starting teacher pay.

See It On TV | Report A Typo |  Send Tip |  Get Alerts | Send us photos
Follow @abc11 on Twitter  |  Become a fan on Facebook

Copyright © 2024 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.