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FGCU launches free workshops to foster equity, retain workers; Supreme Court throws out race claim in SC redistricting case in win for GOP; as millions hit the roads, MI lawmakers consider extra driving fees; CT groups prepare for World Fish Migration Day.

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U.S. Supreme Court allows South Carolina gerrymander that dilutes Black voters, Sen. Ted Cruz refuses to say if he'll accept 2024 election results, and Trump calls Mar-a-Lago search an attempt to have him assassinated.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

Holiday Retailers Staffed with NC Teachers

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Thursday, December 24, 2015   

RALEIGH, N. C. – During your holiday shopping, you may have bumped into your child's teacher working in a seasonal retail job.

According to many teachers, in most cases it's not just to earn mad money or take advantage of an employee discount. The average teacher's salary in North Carolina is slightly more than $45,000 a year, with some making as little as $30,000.

Christina Burchette, a science teacher at a North Carolina school, said she has to work at a retail job to pay her bills.

"I'd love to spend more time doing things for my students – spend more time tutoring them, spend more time on lesson plans and things like that," Burchette said. "But I'm not able to, because I do have to work a second job in order to pay my bills."

Beginning teachers recently received a small pay raise, but many others got a one-time $750 bonus in lieu of a 2 percent pay raise.

This year, the state had a $400 million surplus.

North Carolina now ranks 47th nationwide when it comes to teacher pay. Burchette says while many citizens claim to value the state's teachers, few people are willing to fight for action.

"I have a Master's degree and I don't feel like I should have a second or third job with that, if it's something that North Carolina, or our country, really values," she said.

According to the state Department of Public Instruction, the teacher turnover rate for last school year was almost 15 percent. That's up for 11 percent in the 2010-2011 school year.



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