Nearly 8,000 Attend NCAE's One Voice Rally

May 03, 2011, 21:33 ET from North Carolina Association of Educators

RALEIGH, N.C., May 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- An estimated crowd of between 7,000 to 8,000 educators, parents, students and concerned citizens gathered at the Bicentennial Mall in downtown Raleigh to protest potential budget cuts to public education. Rally participants came from all 100 counties of North Carolina. Prior to gathering on the Bicentennial Mall, attendees visited the Legislative Building to deliver about 1,000 post-it notes to legislators which read "Good Schools = Good Jobs."

Between chants such as "fund schools first" and "no more cuts," rally participants heard from 30 speakers who included teachers, principals, superintendents, legislators, elementary, high school and college students, education support personnel, representatives of the NAACP, Together NC,  NC PTA, as well as former congressman Bob Etheridge, NCAE President Sheri Strickland and Governor Bev Perdue.

During the rally, NCAE collected pennies as a symbolic gesture in support of maintaining the 1 cent sales tax to fund public education. The pennies will be donated to the NC Department of Revenue. The penny collection kicks off a campaign to collect pennies statewide for a mass delivery on June 15. The 1 cent sales tax brings in an estimated $1.4 billion in revenue, money which can be used to prevent cuts to public schools.

Follow the One Voice Rally on Twitter at hash tag #onevoicerally.

NCAE is the state's largest education association representing nearly 60,000 active, retired and student members.

SOURCE North Carolina Association of Educators