Higher education forum held in Greenville

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – It was standing room only in Crave Wednesday for a public forum to discuss issues with higher education.

The event featured a variety of speakers, from teachers and former students, to local activists and state lawmakers.

Organizers said the event gave those impacted by the problems in higher education a voice. One of the issues brought up was the cost of tuition, which has skyrocketed more than 90 percent since 2003.

Teacher pay and job security were also discussed.

“I think that some of the legislators are genuine and concerned about educational issues, but other legislators I just really wonder,” said ECU professor Zach Robinson.

Things aren’t much better at public schools, where many teachers said they are paid too little and have a lot of debt.

“We see things everyday in our classroom that we can’t fix because we don’t have the resources,” said Lauren Piner, president of the Pitt County Association of Educators.

Organizers of the event said 31 percent of adjunct professors, and 14 percent of full time professors, live below the poverty line.

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