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The Latest: Thousands gather for N. Carolina teacher rally

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- The Latest on a rally by thousands of teachers in North Carolina (all times local):

9:45 a.m.

Thousands of teachers wearing red are gathering ahead of a march through downtown Raleigh to demand more resources from North Carolina lawmakers.

Clusters of teachers were gathering ahead of the march Wednesday morning at meeting spots to carpool downtown for the start of the march at 10:30 a.m. Marchers were traveling to the capital city from around the state.

Tracy Brumble, a teacher at Milbrook Magnet Elementary School in Raleigh, was with about a dozen fellow teachers at the school waiting for a bus to carry them to the march's starting point Wednesday. They were all wearing red t-shirts, matching the color of the (hash)RedForEd theme of the day.

Brumble said the group wants lawmakers to know they need more funds for building upkeep, textbooks and student resources. She says the goal is "a better environment for public education."

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12:05 a.m.

Thousands of teachers are set to hit the streets of North Carolina's capital, bidding to force a political showdown over wages and funding for public school classrooms in this conservative, tax-cutting state.

As many as 15,000 teachers are expected to gather Wednesday morning in Raleigh as the Republican-dominated state legislature begins its annual session. More than three dozen school districts that educate more than two-thirds of the state's 1.5 million public school students will close classrooms.

North Carolina's main teachers' advocacy group favors Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's proposal to raise salaries by delaying planned tax cuts. Republican legislative leaders say that's not going to happen.

Previous strikes, walkouts and protests in West Virginia, Arizona, Kentucky, Colorado and Oklahoma have led legislators in each state to improve pay, benefits or overall school funding.

AP-WF-05-16-18 1351GMT

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