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N.C. teachers are rallying for better pay, better funding — and Medicaid expansion

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North Carolina teachers are fed up with education funding cuts dating back to 2008, so on Wednesday, they headed en masse to the Capitol in Raleigh. And in a departure from the states whose teachers walked out before now, North Carolina’s educators are also fighting for a Medicaid expansion.

“We’ve been waiting too long, and it’s time for us to show the General Assembly how strong the support for public schools is in our state,” Kristin Beller, a kindergarten teacher at Joyner Elementary School and president-elect of the Wake County Association of Educators, told VICE News. “North Carolina teachers started realizing we don’t have to actually settle for anything, we can fight for what our kids deserve.”

At least 42 of the state’s 115 school districts are closed today, including the 16 largest, representing more than one million students. While it’s illegal for employees in North Carolina to strike, so many teachers took personal days that there weren’t enough substitutes to cover for them, leading to the district closures.

Like their colleagues in West Virginia, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Colorado, and Arizona, North Carolina’s teachers are demanding an increase in their salaries and the state’s general education funding.

North Carolina teachers currently make $10,000 less per year than the average teacher salary in the U.S. The North Carolina Education Association, one of the state’s teachers’ unions, has proposed livable raises for all public school employees and increases in the average teacher salary to match the national average within four years.

North Carolina teachers are fed up with education funding cuts dating back to 2008, so on Wednesday, they headed en masse to the Capitol in Raleigh. And in a departure from the states whose teachers walked out before now, North Carolina’s educators are also fighting for a Medicaid expansion.

“We’ve been waiting too long, and it’s time for us to show the General Assembly how strong the support for public schools is in our state,” Kristin Beller, a kindergarten teacher at Joyner Elementary School and president-elect of the Wake County Association of Educators, told VICE News. “North Carolina teachers started realizing we don’t have to actually settle for anything, we can fight for what our kids deserve.”

At least 42 of the state’s 115 school districts are closed today, including the 16 largest, representing more than one million students. While it’s illegal for employees in North Carolina to strike, so

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https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/zm8x49/north-carolina-teachers-are-rallying-for-better-pay-funding-and-medicaid-expansion

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