‘We fight for students’; Guilford County teachers picket over state budget stalemate

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GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — Lawmakers have been at an impasse on the state budget for three months. It’s left a lot of people in limbo, including local educators.

Before school on Wednesday morning, some Guilford County educators took a stand.

They picketed up and down the sidewalk between Ferndale Middle School and High Point Central High School before school began. Their message is about passing a state budget to help better public schools.

Governor Roy Cooper vetoed the state budget this summer over concerns it did not include Medicaid expansion. The state House overrode the veto last month but the Senate has not rescheduled a vote.

Without a new state budget in place, public schools are operating under last year’s budget. That’s a budget a lot of educators say was not enough, and still is not enough. Many Guilford County Schools are dealing with crumbling infrastructure and critical issues.

The new budget also calls for a raise for teachers and school staff, but the stalemate means those have not gone into effect.

Overall some teachers say it’s leaving them with a lot of uncertainty, and that’s why they’re calling for state lawmakers to get together and pass a budget.

“It’s kind of like, right now, we’re at the point where we’re saying, ‘Enough words, more action.’ And so that’s what we’re calling for, action from the politicians. Because we do this for the kids, our brothers and sisters and staff and the community. And strong communities are built on strong public schools,” High Point Central High School teacher Robbie Bean said.

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