A Wake County teacher has become one of the faces for what it’s like to be a teacher in America. Highlighting the problems not only with low wages and high costs but also the environment in which teachers must function. In North Carolina, classroom funding has been cut by 55% in the last 10 years when adjusted for inflation and enrollment. Teachers are expected to do more and more with less and less. It’s time North Carolina had lawmakers who prioritize public education over tax cuts for the wealthy.
Raleigh teacher NaShonda Cooke has become one of the national faces for what it’s like to be a teacher in America by appearing on the cover of the latest issue of Time magazine.
Cooke is on one of three different covers for the Sept. 24 issue of Time that shares the stories of 13 U.S. teachers talking about how hard it is to make a living. Cooke, 43, a teacher at Carroll Middle School in Raleigh, shares about how despite having 20 years of experience she skips doctor’s appointments to save on the co-pay and can’t afford to fix her car or save for her children’s future.
“My co-workers are just grateful that I’m speaking out in terms of teachers having a tough time financially,” Cooke said in an interview Wednesday. “Most of us still have a hard time taking care of our families.”
The Time article comes during a year where teachers around the country held marches, protests and in some cases strikes to protest working conditions.