Thousands of North Carolina public school teachers march in Raleigh

Thousands of North Carolina teachers swarmed the state legislature on Wednesday to call for pay raises and more spending on schools, making the state the country’s sixth to be roiled by educators demanding better funding.

Hundreds of teachers in red T-shirts filled a spectators gallery and chanted “remember, remember, we vote in November” as the Republican-controlled General Assembly started its session.

Teachers filled a plaza outside the legislative building amid chants of “Red for Ed” backed by drums and a trombone. The protest prompted at least 38 districts, representing more than half the state’s 1.5 million public school students, to cancel classes.

The protest continues a wave of walkouts this year by teachers in West Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arizona and Colorado who said lawmakers have failed to adequately pay teachers and provide for schools. (Reuters)

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<p>Protesters gather in the streets during a North Carolina public school teacher march and rally in Raleigh, N.C., May 16, 2018. The teachers are asking for high salaries and more school funding from the North Carolina legislature. (Photo: Caitlin Penna/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock) </p>
North Carolina teachers march in Raleigh

Protesters gather in the streets during a North Carolina public school teacher march and rally in Raleigh, N.C., May 16, 2018. The teachers are asking for high salaries and more school funding from the North Carolina legislature. (Photo: Caitlin Penna/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

<p>Teachers and supporters hold signs during a ‘March For Students And Rally For Respect’ protest at the North Carolina State Assembly, on the first day of the state’s legislative session, in Raleigh, N.C., on Wednesday, May 16, 2018. At least 29 North Carolina public school districts serving 865,000 students will close their doors as teachers walk out in the fifth large-scale demonstration in less than three months in states with Republican-led legislatures, most of them organized on the internet in places where unions are weak. (Photo: Charles Mostoller/Bloomberg via Getty Images) </p>
North Carolina teachers march in Raleigh

Teachers and supporters hold signs during a ‘March For Students And Rally For Respect’ protest at the North Carolina State Assembly, on the first day of the state’s legislative session, in Raleigh, N.C., on Wednesday, May 16, 2018. At least 29 North Carolina public school districts serving 865,000 students will close their doors as teachers walk out in the fifth large-scale demonstration in less than three months in states with Republican-led legislatures, most of them organized on the internet in places where unions are weak. (Photo: Charles Mostoller/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

<p>Teachers and supporters stand during a ‘March For Students And Rally For Respect’ protest at the North Carolina State Assembly, on the first day of the state’s legislative session, in Raleigh, N.C., on Wednesday, May 16, 2018. (Photo: Charles Mostoller/Bloomberg via Getty Images) </p>
North Carolina teachers march in Raleigh

Teachers and supporters stand during a ‘March For Students And Rally For Respect’ protest at the North Carolina State Assembly, on the first day of the state’s legislative session, in Raleigh, N.C., on Wednesday, May 16, 2018. (Photo: Charles Mostoller/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

<p>Mark Jewell, president of the North Carolina Association of Educators asks teachers to refrain from chanting and causing a disturbance outside the House and Senate chambers during a teachers rally at the General Assembly in Raleigh, N.C., Wednesday, May 16, 2018. (Photo: Gerry Broome/AP) </p>
North Carolina teachers march in Raleigh

Mark Jewell, president of the North Carolina Association of Educators asks teachers to refrain from chanting and causing a disturbance outside the House and Senate chambers during a teachers rally at the General Assembly in Raleigh, N.C., Wednesday, May 16, 2018. (Photo: Gerry Broome/AP)

<p>Teachers and supporters hold signs during a ‘March For Students And Rally For Respect’ protest at the North Carolina State Assembly, on the first day of the state’s legislative session, in Raleigh, N.C., on Wednesday, May 16, 2018. (Photo: Charles Mostoller/Bloomberg via Getty Images) </p>
North Carolina teachers march in Raleigh

Teachers and supporters hold signs during a ‘March For Students And Rally For Respect’ protest at the North Carolina State Assembly, on the first day of the state’s legislative session, in Raleigh, N.C., on Wednesday, May 16, 2018. (Photo: Charles Mostoller/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

<p>Participants make their way towards the Legislative Building during a teachers rally at the General Assembly in Raleigh, N.C., Wednesday, May 16, 2018. (Photo: Gerry Broome/AP) </p>
North Carolina teachers march in Raleigh

Participants make their way towards the Legislative Building during a teachers rally at the General Assembly in Raleigh, N.C., Wednesday, May 16, 2018. (Photo: Gerry Broome/AP)

<p>Teachers gather outside the Senate and House chambers during a teachers rally at the General Assembly in Raleigh, N.C., Wednesday, May 16, 2018. (Photo: Gerry Broome/AP) </p>
North Carolina teachers march in Raleigh

Teachers gather outside the Senate and House chambers during a teachers rally at the General Assembly in Raleigh, N.C., Wednesday, May 16, 2018. (Photo: Gerry Broome/AP)

<p>Participants make their way towards the Legislative Building during a teachers rally at the General Assembly in Raleigh, N.C., Wednesday, May 16, 2018. (Photo: Gerry Broome/AP) </p>
North Carolina teachers march in Raleigh

Participants make their way towards the Legislative Building during a teachers rally at the General Assembly in Raleigh, N.C., Wednesday, May 16, 2018. (Photo: Gerry Broome/AP)

<p>Protesters play the drums and other musical instrument’s during a North Carolina public school teacher march and rally in Raleigh, N.C., May 16, 2018. (Photo: Caitlin Penna/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock) </p>
North Carolina teachers march in Raleigh

Protesters play the drums and other musical instrument’s during a North Carolina public school teacher march and rally in Raleigh, N.C., May 16, 2018. (Photo: Caitlin Penna/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

<p>Teachers and supporters hold signs during a ‘March For Students And Rally For Respect’ protest at the North Carolina State Assembly, on the first day of the state’s legislative session, in Raleigh, N.C., on Wednesday, May 16, 2018. (Photo: Charles Mostoller/Bloomberg via Getty Images) </p>
North Carolina teachers march in Raleigh

Teachers and supporters hold signs during a ‘March For Students And Rally For Respect’ protest at the North Carolina State Assembly, on the first day of the state’s legislative session, in Raleigh, N.C., on Wednesday, May 16, 2018. (Photo: Charles Mostoller/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

<p>General Assembly police chief Martin Brock silences members of the crowd outside the House and Senate chambers during a teachers rally at the General Assembly in Raleigh, N.C., Wednesday, May 16, 2018. (Photo: Gerry Broome/AP) </p>
North Carolina teachers march in Raleigh

General Assembly police chief Martin Brock silences members of the crowd outside the House and Senate chambers during a teachers rally at the General Assembly in Raleigh, N.C., Wednesday, May 16, 2018. (Photo: Gerry Broome/AP)

<p>Thousands of teachers march on Fayetteville Street in Raleigh, N.C. on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 to the N.C. Legislative building during the ”March for Students and Rally for Respect,” the largest act of organized teacher political action in state history. (Photo: Travis Long/TNS via ZUMA Wire) </p>
North Carolina teachers march in Raleigh

Thousands of teachers march on Fayetteville Street in Raleigh, N.C. on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 to the N.C. Legislative building during the ”March for Students and Rally for Respect,” the largest act of organized teacher political action in state history. (Photo: Travis Long/TNS via ZUMA Wire)

<p>A man encourages the crowd as teachers chant outside the House and Senate chambers during a teachers rally at the General Assembly in Raleigh, N.C., Wednesday, May 16, 2018. (Photo: Gerry Broome/AP) </p>
North Carolina teachers march in Raleigh

A man encourages the crowd as teachers chant outside the House and Senate chambers during a teachers rally at the General Assembly in Raleigh, N.C., Wednesday, May 16, 2018. (Photo: Gerry Broome/AP)

<p>A protester waves the flag ‘Don’t Dread on Me’ during a North Carolina public school teacher march and rally in Raleigh, N.C., May 16, 2018. (Photo: Caitlin Penna/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock) </p>
North Carolina teachers march in Raleigh

A protester waves the flag ‘Don’t Dread on Me’ during a North Carolina public school teacher march and rally in Raleigh, N.C., May 16, 2018. (Photo: Caitlin Penna/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

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