Rumblings of a teacher walk-out on November 4th have been popping up on social media for the past few weeks. But that’s now been replaced with what organizers are calling a “walk-in.”
Many teachers are frustrated with state lawmakers. Teacher pay has stayed pretty much the same for the past five years, except for a one percent raise last year. This year the legislature eliminated tenure and a salary boost for master’s degrees. Add to that an increase in testing and momentum was building for a walk-out on November 4th.
“It was just kind of like you’ve done everything you can do. You’ve worn red. You’ve gone to peaceful rallies and nothing was working so it’s like, ‘Okay, what do we do now?’” says Stacey Fraley, a librarian with Wake County Schools, who supported the walk-out.
The plan was to just call in sick that day. But a collective action like that in North Carolina would be considered a fireable offense. So Fraley and others started having second thoughts.
“Nobody wants to lose their job and nobody actually wants to walk out on kids. We want to make some positive change,” says Fraley.
The North Carolina Association of Educators suggested a “walk-in” instead. The latest plan is to invite the community, including elected officials to spend some time at a school on November 4th . The group’s president Rodney Ellis hopes that will inform those official’s decisions on education.
“They are making decisions that impact public schools and I’m not certain that all of them have spent time in public schools to get a clear understanding of what teachers do, what educators in our school buildings do, how valuable each and every one of them are to providing an education to our students,” says Ellis.
Some officials may see it as a campaign opportunity, since the next day is Election Day.