Over 61,000 people have signed Aim Higher Now’s petition telling the General Assembly to raise North Carolina teacher salaries to the national average.
At 1 p.m. Tuesday, on the Burnsville Town Square, those petition signatures came to Yancey County as teachers, parents and students gathered to demand an end to the attacks on North Carolina’s public schools. . Some of those attending the gathering are pictured above adding their names to the petition.
It is said that many of our best teachers are leaving the state, leaving the profession, or having to work second jobs because of the pay. Meanwhile, voters overwhelmingly support the move to raise teacher pay to the national average over the next four to five years. North Carolina ranked 46th when it comes to average teacher salaries, according to the National Education Association’s rankings from 2012-13. The U.S. average salary was around $55,400. The North Carolina average was around $46,000.
North Carolina lawmakers have been discussing a pay raise for teachers, but proposals vary widely. A N.C. Senate proposal would increase pay but would also cut teacher assistants and require teachers to give up career status, also known as tenure. The House version would provide a smaller raise, but would keep assistants.
The loss of teachers and teacher’s assistants is also a big problem for North Carolina school systems where more than 14,000 NC teachers, or 14 percent, resigned many to take better paying teaching jobs in other states.
Around 30 Yancey County teachers showed interest in the rally held on the Burnsville Town Square according to Aim Higher Now.