Published: Sat, April 21, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Arizona is next stop for movement seeking better teacher pay

Arizona is next stop for movement seeking better teacher pay

There are about 60,000 teachers across the state and 57,000 teachers voted; 78 percent of them voted for the walkout.

On April 15 Red for Ed organizers announced that teachers will be voting this week on whether they will orchestrate a walkout, following the steps of their colleagues in Oklahoma and West Virginia. School districts are required to offer 180 days of student instruction. She urged the Republican governor and the Legislature to come up with a new plan for funding teacher raises and restoring school funding that is long-term, permanent and sustainable that "does not hurt others".

"Our teachers have earned this raise", the governor wrote in the letters. "It's time to get it done".

Ducey, however, has refused to consider tax increases to pay for more education funding, instead hoping the economy will continue to flourish. It depends on "what's appropriate and how fast a legislative body can act", the Republican said in a Fox 25 interview.

Gov. Ducey (R) tweeted minutes after AEA and AEU's announcement on Thursday and said that "No one wants to see teachers strike" and that "kids are the ones who lose out".

The Arizona Center for Economic Progress said 74% of Arizona's corporations pay $50 or less in tax every year. The Arizona Capitol Times reported yesterday that AEU has reserved the Capitol grounds for Friday and much of next week.

House Democratic leader Rebecca Rios called on school districts to support the teachers and other educators during the walkout. "I felt better today, when we received an update from the governor's office indicating that the proposed 10 percent raise will be given to ALL classroom teachers in FY2019 without cutting services in important social programs such as AHCCCS".

Students plan national walkout for Columbine shooting anniversary
Thousands of students walked out of public and private schools across the country for 17 minutes, one minute for each of the dead. DeAngelis, Former Principal at Columbine, has been a great sounding board for me during these trying times", he said .

"The first set of walk-ins saw more than 100,000 teachers, staffers, and parents at 110 school districts, all wearing "#RedforEd" T-shirts, lock arms and march into the schools in solidarity three minutes before opening bells rang. Madison Elementary School District, Alhambra Elementary School District and Mesa Public Schools are among the districts that have begun informing parents about the closures. The comprehensive plan increases the number of school resource officers (along with funding for new cutting-edge technology training), establishes a centralized reporting tip line and invests in mental and behavioral health resources at schools.

The potential for Arizona educators to walk out en masse is causing some confusion about how school districts would respond.

Teachers said their demands were not coming from a selfish desire for more money but were a necessity to provide quality education for students.

More to the point, Simek said none of this was disclosed to her when she was asked to support Ducey's plan. "People are just exhausted, we have lost very good teachers, and they left because of the money".

"I'd be very disappointed if we expanded casino gambling again thinking that's going to be the latest solution again for schools", Lankford told News 9.

"Since my first priority is the children", Douglas said, "in the unfortunate event that the teachers proceed to strike on Thursday, I'm calling on the communities, businesses and faith-based organizations near the schools that decide to close to please make contingencies on behalf of the students that do not have anywhere else to go, especially the children of single parents". However, he said district officials expect teachers to return to their classrooms by Friday. "We are throwing away an entire generation's chance at academic success".

Teachers will announce the results tonight, and depending on the outcome, the vote could light the fuse for a statewide walkout to demand that the governor and Republican-held Legislature increase teacher pay and school funding. Leaders estimated Arizona spends $3,300 less per student.

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