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More than 1,000 MNPS teachers absent today as sick-outs continue

Posted at 6:27 AM, May 16, 2019

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — More than 1,000 Metro Nashville Public Schools teachers are taking part in another day of sick-outs.

MNPS officials said 1,055 absences were reported Thursday morning. Later today, teachers are expected to march to Public Square and hold a rally until today’s City Council meeting, which they plan to attend.

Sources say about 90% of teachers at Gower Elementary School have called in sick today to send a message to Metro leaders.

The group Red4Ed has already posted images of posters, saying "Take a sick day... and when you're feeling better, join us!"

Teachers marched from Nissan stadium, across the pedestrian bridge and into downtown Nashville. They traveled up 3rd Avenue to the metro historic courthouse.

"Cost of living has gone up here in Nashville. Raises haven't gone up with that, so it's made it harder for us as teachers to be able to stay in the jobs that we're doing now and teach the kids that we have without the proper funding to make sure we attract teachers to our area," said Terry Riggans, a teacher from McGavock High School.

Educators have issue with how much money Mayor David Briley has set aside for Metro Schools. The Metro School Board is asking for $76 million next year to give employees a 10% raise, but the mayor's proposed budget would only give the district an extra $28 million – making 10% seemingly impossible.

"This has been a problem in Nashville for years now," said Amanda Vail, teacher and organizer of the march. "The city says, 'We would like to give you money, but we really don't have it.' It's time that our city puts its money where it's mouth is. If they really support our schools if they really support teachers, then we need to see that."