A crash course on why we march: 2013 – present
Why the Fist?
The fist is solidarity and power. It is a symbol of popular sovereignty – a democratic principle that power rests with the people.
Our Founding Fathers would not be offended by solidarity, power, or popular sovereignty. They taught us to value these concepts and promoted education as a keystone in an effective democracy.
Some of our leaders and their cohort choose to be offended by use of the fist. They associate it with communism and see it as a threat.
They have forgotten our history and that American spirit calls government to task when the will of the people is funneled into the will of a few gatekeepers in office withholding debate in their committees and chambers.
It is a sad time in our state when expressions of popular sovereignty are associated with communism and not democratic principles enshrined in our Founding documents.
George Washington: “There is nothing which can better deserve your patronage than the promotion of science and literature. Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness.”
“The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive.”
“The boisterous sea of liberty is never without a wave.”
“Every government denigrates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories.”
Should our attendance in Raleigh on May 1 be necessary through lack of action by our lawmakers on 5 demands that will support our students, schools, and communities, I believe the Founders will be smiling down on our democratic action. Perhaps they’ll raise a fist in solidarity.
Our leaders still do not give us a seat at the table when drafting bills affecting our schools.
A satirical and “transparent” response to NC Superintendent Mark Johnson’s April 25 email campaigning against the priorities of public school employees he is supposed to lead.
April 25, 2019
Parents, Caretakers, and Educators,
As educators in North Carolina’s public schools, we want to encourage constructive policies that support our public education system. To that end, we support greater transparency. We want to empower you with clear facts at your fingertips as we work together to improve public education in our state.
That is why we are sharing this link to support the May 1 Day of Advocacy in Raleigh and organizing efforts: www.red4ednc.com/may-1st-links.html
With this easy-to-use site, you now have the facts about how you can join us to show our NCGA that we won’t tolerate the continued starvation of our education system by cutting corporate income taxes an extra $900 million this year alone instead of supporting students, educators, and schools. You can even discover the key issues public school supporters around the state want remedied by May 1.
Here are some facts about our education system you might find important:
• Between 2008-2018 the NC General Assembly has shortchanged our schools $6549.10 per student.
• An NCGA subcommittee released findings in Spring 2018 shortly after the Parkland massacre. Despite the NCGA’s apparent sense of urgency surrounding these findings when they were released, the May 1 Day of Action sponsored by North Carolina Association of Educators seeks to restore that resolve among our lawmakers by demanding that staffing ratios meet national standards. The report included these ratio discrepancies (NC staff to student ratio / national recommendations)
o nurse (1 : 2,315 / 1 full time nurse per school)
o counselor (1 : 350 / 1 : 250)
o psychologist (1 : 1,857 / 1 : 700)
o social worker (1 : 1427 / 1 : 400)
• In 2013, North Carolina became the first state to eliminate extra pay for teachers who earn advanced degrees.
• In 2017 the NCGA eliminated state retiree health benefits for anyone joining the profession as of January 1, 2021.
• North Carolina ranks #49 in the nation for teacher pay competitiveness.
• In 2018, a $15/hour minimum wage was established for all state workers EXCEPT school employees. Our teaching assistants, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, custodial staff, and other classified staff who interact with and care for our students each day were sent a message that their work supporting the development of students is not worth a livable wage.
• Our retirees’ purchasing power has diminished because of a lack of cost of living adjustments to pensions they contributed to while working.
• The NCGA continues to deny Medicaid expansion that has been accepted by 37 other states and would be paid for with federal funds. Healthy communities can better support student achievement.
• North Carolina’s 115 school districts receive mostly state funding, but the burden of supplementing funding shortages from the NCGA has fallen on counties to use property tax revenue.
We are powerful when we work together to demand change, and we are happy to have your support and attendance in Raleigh on May 1.