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Latest Moral Monday protest largest yet; focuses on education

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TWC News: Latest Moral Monday protest largest yet; focuses on education
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RALEIGH -- The final scheduled Moral Monday demonstration in downtown Raleigh was the largest yet.

It was an interfaith assembly with a focus on cuts to education. Bus loads of teachers came from all over the state to protest budget cuts they said are hurting classrooms and kids.

It was a sea of red on Halifax Mall.

The latest Moral Monday protest focused on cuts to education coming from the state budget approved last week.

Ashley Jones was one of hundreds of educators marching on the State Capitol.

The classroom caps being done away with, doing away with the masters [degree] pay, teacher tenure, teacher's assistants," said Jones, an elementary school teacher. "I mean I would like to see him come into a classroom and do what we do everyday for the compensation that we get."

Some teachers News 14 Carolina spoke with said the budget might force them to march out of the Tar Heel State.

"I'm glad to see all the people here but I hate that we're here at all. I'm already looking for jobs in other states," said Emilie Smith, elementary school teacher

Teacher salaries and classroom size are some of the issues they feel are hurting education in the state.

McCrory's senior education advisor said the budget spends more money on public education than ever before and acknowledges work lies ahead to do more for state educators.

"The competition between states is real and the same way as we would compete for business we need to compete for our teachers and we need to compete for our highest performing teachers," said Eric Guckian.

As for Monday's protest, it was the 13th that the NAACP held since April. It's an event that has grown in popularity in the last few months, but one critics said hasn't resulted in any significant changes in state legislation.

However, the Rev. William Barber said that won't stop them from continuing to fight for the state.

"No progress has ever happened without a struggle in this country. Women didn't get the right to vote without a struggle in this country. African-Americans did not get the things we have now without a struggle,": said Barber.

Since the Moral Monday demonstrations began, more than 900 people have been arrested for civil disobedience at the General Assembly.

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