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Round Two as lawmakers battle over Senate rules to try Trump. And New Hampshire voters keep a close eye on Iowa.

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Four candidates are stuck in Washington at the Senate impeachment trial instead of on the campaign trail in Iowa, less than two weeks ahead of the first in the nation caucuses.

NC Educators Rally for 2020 Pay Raise

Nationwide, the teacher shortage is expected to worsen within the next five years, especially in subjects such as mathematics, science and special education, according to a report by the Economic Policy Institute. (Adobe Stock)
Nationwide, the teacher shortage is expected to worsen within the next five years, especially in subjects such as mathematics, science and special education, according to a report by the Economic Policy Institute. (Adobe Stock)
January 14, 2020

RALEIGH, N.C. - North Carolina teachers want to see their pay increase, and they are gathering in Raleigh today to demand lawmakers take action before the General Assembly adjourns this year.

Mark Jewell is an elementary school teacher in Greensboro and president of the North Carolina Association of Educators. He said a starter salary for a public school in the state begins at around $35,000 annually, and is capped at around $52,000 annually.

He said stagnant wages are affecting teachers' ability to do their jobs and pay their bills.

"Folks are struggling, they're working two and three jobs to make ends meet," Jewell said. "And we have just simply had enough."

According to a 2018 report by the National Educators Association, North Carolina ranks 37th in the nation when it comes to teacher salaries. Jewell said many schools are significantly understaffed, and retaining qualified teachers is becoming an uphill battle.

"In the meantime, we have a huge teacher shortage of about 1,500 positions that reman vacant," he said.

Jewell pointed out that communities often rely heavily on bus drivers and cafeteria workers, yet these remain the lowest-paying jobs in the education system.

"You know, we also talk about our lowest-paid workers, our bus drivers, cafeteria workers, teacher assistants, that are maybe making $20,000 a year," Jewell said.

In North Carolina, more 1.5 million students attend public schools.

Nadia Ramlagan, Public News Service - NC