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Raleigh Preps For 50K In Downtown For Teacher Rally

A total of 24 school districts across North Carolina will be closed May 1 due to the rally.
Credit: WNCN
Teacher Rally

RALEIGH, N.C. — While North Carolina educators have their own goals for better pay and more funding in the classroom - there are tens of thousands of people who will be affected who aren't a part of the rally.  

Asher Gannon works in downtown Raleigh and learned about the May 1 rally on Thursday.

RELATED: List of Schools Closing On May 1 For 'Educators Day of Action'

"I usually, when something is going on downtown, will walk because the streets usually get really congested and there's not much direction on how to get to where," Gannon said. 

According to the North Carolina Association of Educators, the plan for the march is as follows:

  • 8 a.m. - Marchers assemble in front of NCAE Headquarters on S. Saunders Street
  • 10:30 a.m. - March begins with a police escort
  • March follows Fayetteville Street which will be closed and then around the Capitol
  • March continues through Bicentennial Plaza, around General Assembly to Halifax Mall. Halifax mall is where the main stage for the rally will be located. 
  • The march is expected to wrap up around noon. At that point, Fayetteville Street will reopen.

Derrick Remer with the City of Raleigh has advice for people who will be downtown for something other than the rally.

RELATED: 'Consider The Bigger Picture' | Teachers Hold Rally In Greensboro, Announce Plans To Join May 1st Rally In Raleigh

"Plan for a lot of additional people coming into downtown to your regular parking space of the restaurant you go to for lunch just be prepared for that influx of people coming into downtown who aren't normally there during the weekday," Remer said. 

That's advice downtown workers said they learned last year.  

"Just have to get here early, fortunately, I park at the county parking deck so it wasn't too much of an issue but for everyone else going to the courthouses and coming downtown it was a little bit of a hassle getting a parking space" said Jeff Pearson, who works downtown. 

Kesha Wortham said she'll be taking advantage of the situation and will be downtown selling candy.

It's a second job to supplement her income as a bus driver for Durham Public Schools.  

"We need to know that we are sticking together to the end that we get a raise," said Wortham. 

March organizers said between 20 and 30 thousand people marched last year.

It's too early for a realistic estimate for this year but, the city says it's prepared for a lot more people.

"Well last time was a first-time event so this time we've learned to plan for additional people we're expecting upwards of 50,000 people and planning for that," Remer said.

A total of 24 school districts across North Carolina will be closed May 1 due to the rally. 

Wake, Durham, and Orange County schools had previously announced they would be closed.

RELATED: SC Teacher Group Plans May 1 Walkout and March to Statehouse

RELATED: 'This Rally Is Not About Education': A Conversation With Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, Weeks Before Teacher March On Raleigh

RELATED: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools designates May 1 as an optional teacher workday

RELATED: List of Schools Closing On May 1 For 'Educators Day of Action'

RELATED: How Many Teachers Are Requesting Off For The May 1 Rally in Raleigh?