School system stages Walk-In Day
While some groups are encouraging teachers to walk out in protest of education cuts, Guilford County Schools hopes instead the public will walk in and thank local teachers.
Schools in Guilford County are having a Walk-in Day for the community to show support for public schools in North Carolina.
According to a statement from the school system, the Walk-In Day is in response to the calls for a statewide teacher walkout on Monday.
“As many media outlets have reported, some groups are encouraging teachers across North Carolina to stage a statewide walkout on Monday, Nov. 4,” according to the statement. “In GCS, we know our teachers will instead be working in their classrooms, putting children first. That’s why GCS is holding Walk-In Day on that date.”
The school system is encouraging all employees, students, parents, business and community partners and others across the county to wear red in support of public education and visit any of the 126 schools before 10 a.m. Visitors are encouraged to bring thank-you notes, letters of support or signs “just to show our teachers we appreciate their hard work.”
Cassandra Flemming, a sixth-grade teacher at Ferndale Middle, said she supports the walk-in and hopes it inspires more community support.
“It’s a wonderful idea for community members and leaders to come to schools to visit,” Flemming said. “It will show not only teachers, but students, that they support education. However, Monday is only one day. We need continued community support and involvement.”
With this year’s budget, North Carolina lawmakers eliminated tenure; created “opportunity scholarships,” which will provide $4,200 for children to attend private schools; eliminated funds for teacher assistants; and got rid of master’s pay for teachers who earned their master’s degrees.
Over the past few years, teachers have faced cuts in the classroom, legislative changes that impact teaching and learning, and salaries that are among the lowest in the country.
On average, North Carolina teachers make far less than their counterparts in other states. Currently, North Carolina teacher pay ranks 46th in the United States, down five spots from the year before, when North Carolina teacher pay ranked 41st. In addition, North Carolina public schools have lost more than $42 million in state funding in the last five years.
“Teachers love to have additional help in their classrooms and in their school buildings,” Flemming said. “When an entire community can come together and be involved with their youths’ education, there is only one outcome that needs to be considered, and that is student success.”
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