RALEIGH, N.C. — More than 50,000 are expected in downtown Raleigh on Wednesday as part of the Day of Action for the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE).
The rally is expected to be another monumental event for teachers. Educators from the Triad and from Murphy to Manteo will march in an organized protest for the second-straight year.
Last May, around 19,000 marched in downtown Raleigh to voice their demands on the steps of the legislative buildings downtown. Governor Roy Cooper spoke, saying, "We need to put our money where our trust is." Governor Cooper is expected to be there again on Wednesday.
In March, State Superintendent Mark Johnson said he didn't support Wednesday's rally, saying "We support teachers and are championing the changes our education system needs, but I cannot support protests that force schools to close."
If you're a teacher interested in the rally, you can still register to attend here.
WFMY News 2 will be at the rally covering it as educators make their demands to lawmakers.
You can share your rally photos and videos by sending an email to email@example.com or to firstname.lastname@example.org
WHAT TEACHERS WANT
Educators are asking for better pay, increased security and more funding for schools. Here are five specific things they're asking for:
- Hire more social workers and counselors
- Expand Medicaid
- Implement $15 minimum wage for all school workers
- Reinstate Masters and advanced degree pay
- Make retirement packages to stay the same for future educators
WHERE TO BOARD
In Guilford County, buses will be leaving from High Point Central High School, Page High School and Smith High School at 7:30 a.m. You can still reserve a spot here. Reservations are $8.50 each. Anyone can ride the bus with a reservation.
At least 30 North Carolina school districts, including Guilford County Schools, Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools, Alamance Burlington Schools, Lexington City Schools, Thomasville City Schools are closed for students Wednesday. Other school districts also include Orange County Schools, Durham County Schools and Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools
10 a.m. - Pre-March rally at NCAE headquarters (700 South Salisbury Street)
10:30 a.m. - March to the General Assembly begins
12:30 p.m. - Rally starts on Halifax Mall
1:30 p.m. - Legislative visits
3:30 p.m. - Buses will pick up educators at NCAE headquarters to return home.
It's suggested to arrive as early as possible to guarantee a parking spot. Here's a map of downtown Raleigh that includes parking garages.
The NCAE will have pre-printed rally signs for everyone to use, but those are more than welcome to make and bring their own sign.
The sign has to be 36'' to 36'' or smaller and all signs must be hand-held (no signs on sticks are allowed).
More information can be found on the NCAE website.
FREE LUNCH FOR STUDENTS
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools will serve free lunch to students at 16 locations from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Here's the list of places serving kids on Wednesday.