For the second time, the state’s teachers’ union, friends, and family gathered at Michigan’s State Capital along with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to protest more funding for the education system.
“It’s time to raise new revenue and fund our state,” said President of Carmen-Ainsworth Education Association and biology teacher, Frank Burger.
The educators are angry. They want more school funding sooner than later.
Burger said the Red for Ed Rally is important because educators are upset with stagnant wages and the lack of education funding in the state.
“Teachers across the state have had major funding cuts, just in Carmen-Ainsworth alone. In 2013 we took a five percent pay reduction and we have yet to get that back,” Burger said.
The rally was hosted by The Michigan Education Association and American Federation of Teachers.
Burger joined hundreds of teachers, parents, and students wearing red in protest. The demanded change while protesting at the State Capital.
“I feel like I’ve been cheated out of an education this year. I even have to take summer camp to make up for what poor education I received this past school year,” a student at the rally said.
While students are frustrated, teachers said it’s hard to make ends meet.
“I have a science degree and right now I’m hedging my bets because of the lack of funding, lack of respect, the lack of financial support,” a teacher at the rally said.
According to The Michigan Department of Education, teaching salaries have gone down over the past decade and that’s something Governor Gretchen Whitmer is hoping to change.
“I recognize that no one goes into this profession thinking they are going to get rich, but by God, you should be able to make a good living,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
Burger hoped the current administration can turn education in Michigan around.
“Teaching is a profession that should be respected and reviewed,” Burger said.