First day of school for many counties across ENC

PITT COUNTY - Students across Eastern Carolina started school Monday morning.

Along with the excitement of the new beginnings, some teachers are still concerned about the recent budget cuts to education in the state.

2nd grade teacher, Heather Morse, is settling into the first day of school with her students at Wintergreen Primary School in Pitt County.

Janeysia Moore, a 2nd grader at the school, said it was hard to wake up.

"Normally, I wake up at 10. Now, I have to wake up at 6 ...maybe 5," she said.

Donna Harrison brought her grandson to school who is starting the 1st grade at Wintergreen Primary.

"We look forward to it. Summer is fun but we look forward to him going to the first grade," Harrison said.

Some students were visibly nervous, while others appeared calm as they waited to get through the doors.

"The first day of school is extremely important because bus drivers may be running new routes and kids may be at new stops. Uh, there's a lot of adjustment and there's a period there where you have to be more aware than normal," Brock Letchworth, the public information officer for Pitt County Schools said.

While Morse and other teachers settle their students into the school routine and calm those first-day jitters, thoughts of the recent budget passed by Governor McCrory are still in the back of their minds. The budget does away with tenure and the current 10% pay increase for teachers with master's degrees.

"Not a lot of incentive for teachers to go back to school and better themselves if the cost of the master's programs is not going to be off-set by the pay raise. So, certainly something teachers are opposed to," Morse said.

However, even the budget isn't going to stop the teachers from doing their duties and teaching the children.

Some teachers around the state wore red on the first-day of school as a sign of protest against this new budget. There's also a petition going around for Governor McCrory to reinstate the 10% raise for teachers who get their master's degrees and for tenure to be reinstated as well.

Students in Onslow County start school on Tuesday August 27th.

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