'I almost cried thinking about how things will change': Cumberland County educators call Biden, Harris administration a victory for public education

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Cumberland County educators are reacting to the incoming Biden-Harris administration days after President-elect Joe Biden told American teachers one of their own is heading to the White House.

Art teacher Tabitha Redding watched Joe Biden speak from home.

"As soon as he said that, I cheered and I remembered that his wife was a teacher. I almost cried thinking about how things are going to change," said Redding. "I think it should be paid the way a well-educated professional is paid."

Redding is a wife and mom of six children. She is also the sole breadwinner in her home after her husband suffered a stroke and stopped working.

Redding told ABC11 her family income is below the poverty line. She said Biden's victory offers teachers like her, who often have to work other jobs to make ends meet, a glimmer of hope.

"We will receive the safety we need as far as COVID-19. I think we're going to get the financing we need. We'll have protections back in place from students and I'm really looking forward to DeVos being taken out her position," said Redding.

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In May and November 2019, thousands of educators demanded higher wages and rallied for respect and flooded the streets of the Triangle.

At the time, Cumberland County fourth-grade teacher Monica Smith was a senior majoring in elementary education at NC State. Smith joined educators for a fight she said is still not over.

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"There are still changes on the local level that need to be made and the fight's not over yet. We still have a lot of work to do. I definitely think the Biden-Harris administration is a step in the right direction for sure," said Smith.

Both educators are confident the incoming administration could bring big changes in public education and representation.

"It means a lot for my students of color and female students to see for the first time a woman of color in such a high office," said Smith.

"I truly believe that Biden and his wife in particular, they really cherish us as teachers and that has been severely neglected," said Redding.

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