CMS Teachers Protest State Budget Cuts In Raleigh


by Audrina Bigos
by Photographer: Chris Keimig

RALEIGH, NC- Local teachers are unhappy and fed up! Now, they're taking a stand.

Thousands of educators in North Carolina, including dozens from our area, protested state budget cuts as part of Moral Monday in Raleigh.

Dozens of fired up Charlotte-Mecklenburg teachers packed a bus in Uptown Charlotte to make the trip to Raleigh.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Association of Educators organized the trip. Representatives say they're upset that the $21 billion state spending plan for this year has no raises for teachers - who say they are already among the lowest paid in the country.

"I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired and it's just time to speak up," said Erlene Lyd, a CMS teacher.

Many protesters say budget cuts are gutting public education in North Carolina with cuts to classroom jobs, including teacher assistants.

 "You're saying to anyone that wants to move here that this is not a friendly state for educators and young teachers are going to look for somewhere else to go. So, Im morally outraged!" said Lyd.

There's also anger about eliminating tenure for veteran teachers like Christy Devine, who's been teaching in Cabarrus County for more than 25 years.

"Although I'm a good teacher and I do the best I can, I could lose due process," said Devine.

Teachers at the rally say slashing $260 million from public education in the state not only hurts them, but it also hurts students.

Parents at the rally say lawmakers are making a big mistake by asking teachers to do more with less.

"I've seen how hard our teachers work and how much they care about the kids so I think they deserve much more respect and much more financial support from the legislature," said Pamela Grundy, a CMS parent.

Representatives with the North Carolina Association of Educators say they are most upset about lawmakers giving $10 million for low-income public school students to move to private schools.


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