• Union County Schools aims to have class on day of teacher rally in Raleigh

    By: Greg Suskin

    Updated:

    UNION COUNTY, N.C. - Thousands of teachers are planning to  call out of school again this year for another Education Rally at the state capitol in Raleigh. 

    Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is canceling class May 1st because so many teachers will be out. But, Union County Schools said they found a way to keep school in session. 

    [ALSO READ: CMS cancels classes on day of teacher rally in Raleigh]

    Last year, Union County shut down schools countywide so teachers could attend the day of action to advocate for better pay and working conditions, but it led to a negative reaction from some in the community. 

    Many parents said they were concerned school was canceled because of the event including former Union County teacher Jim Stegall, who told Channel 9 the district wasn't following state law.

    "Lots of principals rather, granted more leave requests than they could cover with subs," Stegall said. 

    The law allows teachers to take a personal day if a substitute can cover their class, but so many teachers put in for the day off, schools closed.

    This year, Union County will stay open or at least try to. 

    Officials said all teachers can still request the day off, but won't be able to attend the event in Raleigh if substitute teachers are not available. 

    [ALSO READ: Thousands of North Carolina teachers marched. Now what?]

    The Assocation of Educators, which is encouraging teachers to sign up for the May 1st event, said the goal this year is to keep children in school. 

    "We want to do everything in our power to further teacher's conditions across the state, but we also don't want to be burning bridges with our local community," Ashley Jane McIntyre from the NC Assocation of Educators said. 

    Officials said if too many teachers submit days off requests and not enough substitutes are available to teach, they may have to put a cap on the number of teachers. 

    They also said they could change their minds and shut down schools. 

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