AP NEWS

The Latest: Fatal shooting adds somber note to teacher rally

May 1, 2019
1 of 10
From left, Shannon Daniels, Willie Ramey, Dee Grisset and Amy Harrison take a selfie in the parking lot of The N.C. Association of Educators in downtown Raleigh, N.C., before the start of the teacher's march and rally, Wednesday, May 1, 2019. North Carolina teachers took to the streets Wednesday for the second year in a row with hopes that a more politically balanced legislature will be more willing to meet their demands. (Juli Leonard/The News & Observer via AP)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on the teacher rally in North Carolina and South Carolina (all times local):

5:35 p.m.

A fatal shooting at a college campus has added a somber note to a teacher rally in support of overhauling North Carolina’s education priorities.

Public school teachers and their supporters rallied Wednesday in Raleigh for the second year in a row. They want more money for student support staff, such as counselors and nurses. Those features are now included in the state House budget written by Republican legislators.

The march was especially personal for Madhavi Krevat of Apex, whose son is a senior at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. A gunman killed two students and injured four others Tuesday on the UNCC campus.

Krevat says the march is relevant because schools need more services. She’s a member of Moms Demand Action, which supports gun control.

___

4:50 p.m.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster says he hopes legislators improve education funding enough that teachers don’t believe they must protest again.

McMaster made his comments to The Associated Press in an interview Wednesday, as teachers and supporters rallied in Columbia. About 10,000 people had registered to attend the rally.

McMaster said South Carolina is “weak in education,” and said legislators can return after the session ends May 9 if that’s what’s necessary to get the funding for education. The governor said he found the teachers’ voices “instructive” and he hopes the state Senate is listening to them.

However, Senate Education Committee Chairman Greg Hembree has said that there is not enough time to fully debate an education bill.

___

4:20 p.m.

A top legislative Republican says the views of the leaders of North Carolina Association of Educators don’t necessarily represent those of all teachers.

House Speaker Tim Moore made the comments Wednesday as teachers protested for the second time in as many years. The NCAE organized the rallies.

Moore told The Associated Press that teachers in his home county told him they appreciate the proposed budget provisions from his chamber benefiting education.

That budget includes money to raise teacher pay on average by 4.8%, with the most veteran educators and principals getting more.

But the Rev. William Barber, who co-chairs the Poor People’s Campaign, warned the rally crowd the House proposals may not be what they seem. He says it’s an insult that teachers must shut down school systems to get the attention of legislators.

___

2:15 p.m.

Thousands rallied Wednesday at the South Carolina Statehouse where education advocates are calling for legislators to provide more funding for schools.

They’re seeking full funding to address classroom sizes, teacher shortage and retention as well as money to hire school counselors and mental health professionals in school districts.

Students and lawmakers joined educators on the steps of the capitol to hear from speakers after marching from the state’s Department of Education building which is a few blocks away from the Statehouse grounds.

According to a Twitter post by the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, approximately 10,000 people were in attendance.

At the same time, teachers in neighboring North Carolina were also rallying in support of more education funding.

___

1:10 p.m.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper says teachers “are often the first line of defense” in a crisis as he addressed an education rally in North Carolina.

Cooper addressed a teachers’ rally in Raleigh on Wednesday, one day after two students at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte were killed in a shooting and four others were injured.

Cooper told the rally “school safety is vital and that doesn’t mean putting guns with teachers in the classroom.”

North Carolina teachers were rallying for the second year in a row for various demands, including more funding for student support services such as counselors.

___

12:20 p.m.

North Carolina teachers are rallying in support of several issues they believe will improve public education, including Medicaid expansion.

Teachers are gathering in Raleigh for their second protest in two years. Last year’s gathering attracted 20,000 people. The North Carolina of Educators estimated in a permit application that the same number would attend this year’s rally.

The House budget released Tuesday includes some of the teachers’ demands: higher pay for veteran teachers and restoration of a salary bump for teachers with masters’ degrees.

Seventh-grade student Aaron Painter says he’s marching because he wants more mental health services in his school, which he says has one full-time counselor.

___

1:05 a.m.

North Carolina teachers are taking to the streets for the second year in a row with hopes that a more politically balanced legislature will be more willing to meet their demands.

Teachers, auxiliary staff and supporters will march Wednesday in Raleigh. Speakers will include Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and the Rev. William Barber, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign.

When an estimated 20,000 people marched for teachers last year, Republicans held a veto-proof majority in the state House and Senate. The results of November’s election changed that, and now Cooper’s vetoes can stand if Democrats remain united.

The House budget released Tuesday includes some of the teachers’ demands: higher pay for veteran teachers and restoration of a salary bump for teachers with masters’ degrees.

South Carolina teachers also are protesting Wednesday.