Clapping and cheering rang out as educators got up one after another using what they call their "teacher voices" trying to force change.

"North Carolina is ninth in the country in state population and yet our funding is embarrassing for our public schools," said Jayne Jennings who organized the rally.

It was a sea of red sending a strong message to Raleigh, and each speaker had different points.

"If you'll excuse (me), I have to go meet someone from Facebook to buy chairs for my classroom," said one speaker.

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"I'd be making $17,000 more a year right now if I was teaching in Tennessee," shouted another.

They are all pushing for the same outcome: more money in their pockets and in their classrooms. They said a lack of funding is making their job harder in more ways than one.

"The school I love to teach at, our classes are 30-35 kids every class,” said a Hendersonville teacher. “When they asked me today, ‘Why are you going down there Mr. Smith?’ I said because you need a classroom with 25 students or less. I said this is too many students."

Other speakers like Jennings said it's not just a shortage of teachers. She said one counselor for a school of 500 is not enough when a growing number of students are coming in broken.

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"They have too many issues for one public school teacher to deal with,” Jennings said. “We need our support folks, we need our mental health staff, we need those counselors. We need our school nurses, we need a social worker in every school and we don't have that."

They want more technology and supplies, but the crowd also wants to teach the next generation that education is valued. They said right now they don't feel that's the message North Carolina lawmakers are sending.

"I want those kids to think this would be a good profession for them one day,” said another teacher. “I don't want them to never think about teaching because of these issues.”

Many outside the historical courthouse said the state has suffered through a decade of cuts. They then said North Carolina is ranked 39th in per-pupil spending and they believe their students deserve better.

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