Based on how many teachers requested the day off, the crowd at the N.C. Association of Educators’ rally on Raleigh was expected to number in the tens of thousands.
Roughly 2,000 teachers called out from Wake Count Public School System, the largest in the state. Another 2,000 requested the day off from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. A total of 30+ districts cancelled classes Wednesday to support the teacher strike.
However, only a modest number of teachers trekked to downtown Raleigh’s Halifax Mall for the May Day rally. Just as numerous were socialists, anarchists, and labor union organizers pushing for everything from abolishing ICE to lifting the U.S. embargo on Cuba.
The total crowd was estimated to number about 1,000 to 2,000. Speakers included Gov. Roy Cooper and other Democratic leaders.
The event was the N.C. Association of Educators’ second demonstration at the General Assembly building. This year, they were advocating for more funding for school support staff, expanding Medicaid and raising the minimum wage for school staff to $15 per hour.
Perhaps quelling the crowd were the unprecedented investments in education the Republican-led General Assembly has approved over the past few years.
Teachers have benefited from five straight years of pay increases, and the state has invested tens of millions of dollars in more school counselors, psychologists and social workers.