TEACHER INVOLVEMENT IN NC ELECTION LEFT AN INDELIBLE MARK: To kick off the election campaign, NCAE organized the May rally that brought at least 19,000 teachers and public-education supporters to Raleigh. The event caused at least 42 school districts that educate more than 1 million students to cancel classes for the day. The march helped personalize the concerns teachers had, according to Matt Ellinwood, director of the Education and Law Project at the liberal N.C. Justice Center. Instead of just seeing NCAE complaining, Ellinwood said, some voters connected the issue to someone they knew, such as their own child’s teacher. “When people saw it was their own teacher, someone in their own community ... it was very powerful,” Ellinwood said. As part of NCAE’s post-march push to the election, the group encouraged teachers to become involved in the political process to support legislative candidates.