Dozens of teachers from all over the area rallied Monday in Uptown to protest budget cuts in North Carolina.
The $20.6 billion budget passed last month increases K-12 education funding and provides more money for teachers in North Carolina schools.
Protesters said while that may be true, it's misleading. Teachers said they held a rally with the intent to hold lawmakers accountable for what they did to public education.
"We, the teachers of North Carolina, are not making outrageous demands; we're just asking that the general assembly stop making promises that they don't intend on keeping," said Rodney Ellis, president of North Carolina Association of Educators.
The group of teachers cheered as different speakers took the podium, highlighting ways they're affected by the budget.
For the past five years, teachers have already gone without step raises, and that won't change anytime soon. The $20.6 billion plan eliminates teacher tenure after five years.
It puts a cap on class sizes, gets rid of funding for thousands of teaching assistants and pay increases for master's degrees.
"My students are not numbers. They are precious human beings who deserve better from the adults in charge," said Justin Ashley, a fourth-grade teacher.
As part of the budget, the only teachers who will get a raise are those in the top 25 percent. Math teacher Kevin Strawn said he's among that percentage and said it's not fair.
"We can't teach all the students with the top 25 percent of the teachers, it's going to take 100 percent of the teachers to teach the students," Strawn said.
Protesters said if people don't understand changes that took place over the summer, they won't be able to ask for change next year.
"This it will have a dramatic impact on the social and economic life of North Carolina in the future," Strawn said.
According to the NCAE, North Carolina is currently ranked 46th in the nation in teacher pay. The recent budget cuts will increase that ranking to 48th in the nation next year.