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Teachers rally to send lawmakers a message due to education cuts

By Jamie Hicks
Published On: Nov 04 2013 09:46:31 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 04 2013 10:47:57 PM CST

East Carteret High School was one of many schools across the state offering teachers an opportunity to voice their frustration on Monday.

CARTERET COUNTY -

East Carteret High School was one of many schools across the state offering teachers an opportunity to voice their frustration on Monday.

More than 130 people gathered outside East Carteret High School to call for the change they want to see happen in education.

Teachers said they are unhappy with recent cutbacks, layoffs and lack of pay raises they've seen this year.

Margery Misenheimer said as a science teacher at Smyrna Elementary School she has seen the cuts happen first hand.

"The pay is an issue, but it really feels like public schools are under attack," she said.

Misenheimer said many teachers feel like current legislators are trying to dismantle the system.

"We’ve seen big slashes in constructional supply money, textbook money and in incentives for staying in the profession," she said.

Bill Blair said he was a teacher and principal in Carteret County for more than 32 years.

"To me it's just wrong that we will balance the budget on the backs our young people," he said.

Blair believes the protests will spark real change in the education system.

"I feel so strongly about doing what is right for the young people of our country. This is what saddens me because our legislators appeared to have forgotten the future," Blair said.

According to the National Education Association North Carolina teachers are among the lowest-paid, ranked as 46th in the country.

North Carolina’s Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger responded to Monday’s rallies  and said they are the union's latest efforts to boost membership, and use teachers' dues to bankroll six figure salaries for its employees.