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This is the primary ruling in the life of kindergarten teacher Kristin Beller of North Carolina: a master, plus 14 years experience, plus 10 hours work days, plus a work week of sometimes six days equals $ 51,000 annual salary.
That does not include the money she makes on the page as a tutor. But she also does not take into account the hundreds of dollars of her own money, which Beller said she has shelled to make sure her students at Joyner Elementary School in Raleigh have new books to read.
On Wednesday, Beller and thousands of other teachers from across the state of Tar Heel skip school and head to the capital of North Carolina to demand an increase ̵
"We've gone through a decade of cuts," said Beller, "so this will be a sign of strength, a sign of power, a sign that North Carolina fully believes in public schools."
Beller and her colleagues are part of a wave that has plummeted in recent months by red states calling for more money from Republicans]. Earlier this year, West Virginia teachers were hired to raise their salary after a nine-day strike 5 percent won. And it spread in Arizona, Oklahoma, and Kentucky, where frustrated teachers left their classrooms and strained their political muscles to grab the attention of lawmakers.
"We have not adopted a textbook in 15 years," said Mark Jewell. President of the North Carolina Association of Educators, a professional group for teachers of the state. "We have school districts that decide whether to pay the light bill or buy toilet paper, we have classrooms … that's 35 students and higher in some cases, that's not normal, that's not the North Carolina way of life." 19659004] The teachers' group to which Beller belongs has set the priorities of "Respect Public Education" on its website.
Among other things, the group wants the state to increase spending per pupil – and the sum of money it pays its members – to reach the national average.
"In North Carolina, spending per student is $ 2,400 below the national average, and average teacher wages are $ 9,600 lower than the national average, both at the lowest levels of states," the group claims. "If we take inflation into account, our students and educators are even further behind."
According to the National Education Association, North Carolina ranks 37th in teacher wages and 39% in spending per student.
A Speaker of House Speaker Tim Moore, a Republican, said North Carolina has led the nation in teacher payroll development in the past two years.
"We are climbing the rankings as Republican leaders have offered five consecutive teacher pay increases since 2014," wrote Joseph Kyzer, spokesman, in an email to NBC News. "Our state fell because of poor state budget management by our Democratic predecessors in this ranking – the teacher's salaries were cut, the teachers were bounced and the wage plan was frozen under the control of the Democrats. But today, the state is back on the fastest track of rising teacher wages in the country under republican leadership. "
Beller's salary equals the current national average, which climbed over $ 50,000 for the first time this year, according to government records.
" When I started working, I was $ 28,000 a year Beller said, "But it's not just about more money for teachers. They have the money to pay us more. It is about stopping the systematic dismantling of our public school system. "
Beller raised the issue of charter schools, which she said had deducted funds from state public schools, and a paper co-authored by a Duke university professor over the past year found that charter schools provide those for public schools in Durham Reduce available funds by $ 500 and $ 700 per student, reported The News & Observer.
Joyner Elementary, in Wake County, is the epicenter of the research triangle that has one of the highest tax bases in the state, only 25 percent Joyner's students live below the poverty line, "so we get a lot of parenting support," Beller said, "but I still think I buy books for our reading programs and use my own money."
Schools that Serving students from poorer families still needs more support, she said.
"Two years ago, I was in a school where 78 percent of the pupil he lived below the poverty line, "said Beller. "There was not much of a parent who could get involved and help us buy basic things like pens and paper, things that the state should deliver to schools anyway."