Teachers From Charlotte & Across the State Rally in Raleigh

RALEIGH, N.C. – Teachers from across the state hope lawmakers have heard their message.

Thousands marched to the Capitol on Wednesday to take their demands to lawmakers.

“We’re doing what America does. We believe in democracy, we believe in, you know, fighting for what we need,” says Walter. G. Byers Elementary teacher Amanda Thompson.

Teachers are asking for pay raises and more money for supplies, security, and counselors.

“Kinda the situation that we’re dealt in, is just one that tears us down, even though we’re doing our best teach our kids,” explains Vance High School teacher Melissa Hinchman.

Parents and students also joined the march and rally.

“It’s been real inspiring for them. I think they’ve learned about supporting their teachers and supporting their community,” says parent Beth Shepherd.

The rally comes at a critical time as state lawmakers are set to vote on the education budget Thursday and Friday.

Republican leaders like Senator Phil Berger argue the rally unfairly targets his party.

He says over the past two years Republicans have increased teacher pay by nearly 10 percent.

In a statement Berger says in part, “…oddly, the education lobby still organized mass rallies to protest Republicans while praising Democrats.”

Local organizers argue raises have come with benefit cuts.

After the rally teachers met with local lawmakers.