‘Schools our kids deserve:’ Guilford County teachers picket over funding from state budget stalemate

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It’s been more than 130 days without a state budget, and local educators say they are feeling the impact while they wait for the funding.

Teachers at about a dozen schools across Guilford County joined Wednesday morning in a statewide Red4Ed demonstration, picketing outside of schools. Teachers say they are frustrated waiting for the state budget to pass. In the meantime, they are operating under last year’s budget which they say was not enough then and is not enough now.

Teacher raises and funding for school psychologists and nurses were included in the budget Governor Roy Cooper vetoed because of Medicaid funding.

Educators say they need a more significant raise for all school employees.

“It was not enough for teachers only four percent over 2 years and 1 percent for classified staff which is our bus drivers, cafeteria workers, custodians. For a lot of them, they weren’t going to see more than 18 dollars on their check every month.” Guilford County Association of Educators President Todd Warren said.

Teachers picketing this morning say it’s not just about the raise though.

“Raises would be nice, it’s not really what it’s about. It’s about how can we give every child access to the school and the education they deserve. We can’t do those things if we’re not properly resourced,” Eighth-grade social studies teacher Mary Beth Murphy said.

She also said teachers at her school, Western Guilford Middle, do not have the funds to buy the supplies they need for students to create engaging lessons.

“I have teachers in my building who are being told from their department chairs they can’t get supplies this year because we don’t have a budget, we don’t have funding, there’s no funding allocated for this fiscal year and our schools and our students deserve better,” she said.

Local educators say this is not a partisan issue, they want both sides to come together to find a way to get the funds teachers need.

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