RALEIGH, N.C. -- The #RallyForRespect goes beyond the scope of pay raises.
"A lot of times teachers are quiet," explains Guilford County Schools teacher Marci Matchett. "We stay in our rooms we do our jobs. But our jobs are becoming more difficult."
At the May 16 rally, demands for more funding for schools were delivered to state lawmakers on a big, red platter.
"I have blinds in my classroom from 1956 and they are taped up because they've fallen down 3 times," explains Laura Aberg, a teacher at Smith High School in Greensboro. "They're no working and they're taped up and a safety hazard."
"For me it's really about increasing per-pupil spending to increase services for our kids," says Winston-Salem teacher Maree Webster. "Like counselors and other support they really need to succeed in the classroom."
"We run 90-minute blocks," says Matchett, who teaches fifth-grade at Jesse Wharton Elementary School in Greensboro. She explains she has 35 kids in her class.
"You look at 35 kids in a 90 minute block, that's less than 3 minutes a kid," she says. "We can't give them the individual attention that they need."
Now that this day dedicated to making teachers' voices and concerns heard has passed, what's next?
"This is a grassroots movement," Webster says. "We've done a lot on social media. It's going to be really important to keep this momentum going."
"We are the largest employers of this state," adds Aberg. "We have quite a voice and we will all have our voices heard in November."
For many teachers, the ball is now in the state legislature's court.
"It's horrifying to me that teachers are working two jobs and paying out of pocket for school supplies and putting out rain buckets," says Rep. Pricey Harrison, a Democratic respresentative for Guilford County. "We need to do better for our public schools."
Rep. Harrison says money that's been budgeted for corporate tax cuts should be going toward schools. But Rep. Jon Hardister says it's not that simple.
"There's always going to be challenges but I would submit that with education were moving in the right direction."
Rep. Hardister, a Republican representing Guilford County, explains teacher pay has gone up about 9% over the past few years they have budgeted more money for education but there's still more work to do.
Both Rep. Hardister and Rep. Harrison took time to meet with teachers from Guilford County ahead of the rally.
"The discussions were very positive," Rep. Hardister says. "We talked about education policy. We talked about teacher pay. Overall funding for education. We talked about testing. We talked about children who have special needs."
The legislative short session could last for several more weeks, so that still leaves plenty of time to make changes to the Governor's proposed budget. Many teachers who talked with WFMY News 2 say the way lawmakers react to the rally and what they do for education will be top of mind come election time in November.