GREENSBORO, N.C. – On Thursday, several Guilford County educators issued a call to action - to stand up to state lawmakers, and demand more funding for their classrooms.
A group of educators urged other GCS teachers to take a personal day, and go to Raleigh to put pressure on the General Assembly.
Although the teachers support the school system, and the proposed budget set out by leaders, they believe it's time for the state to address the fact they've dealt with underfunding for too long.
In a press conference, the teachers said the three tornado-damaged school buildings – Hampton, Peeler, and Erwin Montessori Elementary Schools - are examples of “chronic underfunding,” noting that were already in poor shape even before the tornado ripped through.
Parents, like Gwen Frisbie Fulton from the Peeler community, would support teachers taking a day off in May, if it means fighting for better conditions for her son.
“the state of disrepair that our schools are in, and the infrastructure that is crumbling in our schools, there is no amount of hiding under desks or hiding in closets that is going to keep children safe,” she said, “The teachers simply don't have the resources. We cannot pull it out of thin air.”
School Board Chairman Alan Duncan says, he's concerned with teachers banding together to call out on May 16th- but he knows there's a reason.
“The teachers are quite passionate about some of the issues, and I think it's important that their voice be heard,” he said, “The average age of our buildings is over 50 years, so we have a very lengthy list of top priority items. I think that we have made known for a long time that we have very significant facilities needs in our county. And I think that we have had almost a billion dollars’ worth of bonds since the year 2000, so we’ve tried to address those but they continue to grow.”
Both the teachers and school board agree - they want more money from the state.
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