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On Wednesday the Durham Board of Education voted 6-1 to close schools on May 16 as over 1,000 faculty members are expected to take the day off to lobby for better pay.  Teachers are expected to call out of work that day for the the March for Students and Rally for Respect, where they’ll make their way to Raleigh to urge lawmakers to raise pay and increase resources for students.

An estimated 1,000 Durham teachers plan to attend the March, which will start with a march in downtown Raleigh to the legislative building as the lawmakers go back into session.  Teachers also plan to meet with House and Senate members to encourage school safety improvements and repairs to crumbling buildings.

Multiple options were weighed by school board members on Wednesday night, including dismissing early so students would still be able to attend class and teachers would have the afternoon free to attend the rally. Ultimately, board members came to the conclusion that it would be too difficult to operate with 1,028 teachers requesting off.

Dozens of local churches and volunteers are organizing a plan to provide meals to all students who rely on free and reduced-price lunch so that they will continue to receive food when school closes.

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