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School Funding Ralliers Descend on Raleigh

May 14, 2010

RALEIGH, N.C. - Parents, teachers, school board members and school principals are rallying in Raleigh tomorrow - calling for an end to education budget cuts. Buncombe County school board member Ann Franklin says it's significant that educators from all levels of the system recognize the dire situation schools are in, and are banding together to push for solutions, instead of competing for funding.

"I've always been of the opinion that it doesn't matter who scores the points as long as the points are scored for my team, and my team's public schools."

Shakira Williams is a fifth grade teacher at Wilburn Elementary School in Raleigh. She's seen her class size grow to 31 while in a modular classroom because of budget cuts.

"I just think it's very important that we send a message to our children that they matter to us, and the way that we do that, is we give them proper resources."

Pactolus Elementary School principal Joseph Nelson in Greenville says short-changing kids brings long-term consequences that aren't good for children, or society, because he links a quality education to higher wage earners and lower crime.

"This is of urgence that we fund education at its proper level to ensure that our students are getting what they need to become the leaders in our future."

The General Assembly has another round of cuts on the table as part of the discussion to balance the budget while dealing with a deficit of between $800 million and $1 billion.

The rally is at noon and is followed by a march to the Capitol at 1:00 p.m. Events begin at 700 S. Salisbury St., Raleigh.

Deb Courson, Public News Service - NC