Red for Ed walkouts: 5 questions about Arizona teacher strike

27 April, 2018, 00:32 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
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The Arizona Education Association union said 78 percent of the more than 50,000 teachers and support staffers who voted supported the move.

Colorado has fallen behind in per-pupil funding, now $2,162 behind the national average, according to statistics, largely due to lawmakers diverting education dollars to other areas of the state budget, such as transportation and health care. The facility has room for up to 100 kids and will provide breakfast, lunch and snacks for $25 per child.

A sea of teachers clad in red shirts and holding "Money for Schools" signs reached the Arizona Capitol to press lawmakers for action Thursday, a key event in an unprecedented walkout that closed most of the state's public schools and built on an educator uprising that bubbled up in other parts of the U.S.

Unlike West Virginia or Oklahoma, the issues of immigration will probably take center stage in Arizona, as almost 45% of the school system's students are Latino and more than half of Arizona's public school students hail from communities of color.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey had agreed to give teachers a 20 percent pay raise by 2020, but the proposal was turned down by teachers who chose to campaign for more.

"This fight is for your child", said Thomas.

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As the clock winds down to the official start of the teacher walkout, Ducey told 12 New he's working feverishly with legislators on both sides of the aisle, trying to gather support for his plan.

Educators in Arizona and Colorado on Thursday are taking to the streets, calling out lawmakers for what they say is too little investment for far too long in their paychecks and their classrooms.

You will notice that the goal of the "Red for Ed" movement is totally self-interest of teachers, not for students, not for the taxpayers who pay their salary, but only for themselves, typical of all unions.

Ducey on Thursday reiterated his intention to secure 20% raises, saying in a statement that teachers must be "respected, and rewarded, for the work they do - and Arizona can do better on this front". Several school districts will remain open despite the walkout.

It's not known how long the walkout will last. They plan to march to the state Capitol in the afternoon for a rally.

Crews are at the Capitol erecting an outdoor stage for the midday rally Thursday during which teachers and their supporters will demand increase education funding.

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"Our goal is to ensure that students have access to highly qualified and experienced teachers, that educators are compensated fairly, and to improve the educational environment in the state of Arizona", the group said on its walkout planning website.

Teachers in some districts have been advised to take personal leave time to participate.

Since lawmakers don't have the power to raise taxes without asking voters, they're not expecting an immediate fix. "During the same time frame, corporations in Colorado have received over $1.6 billion in tax breaks, while every year, educators are asked to do more with less".

They're also watching changes made to the state's pension system.

Similar protests have happened in Arizona, Oklahoma and Kentucky. And more than one sign referenced an outdated but commonly cited statistic claiming that Colorado ranks 46th in country for teacher pay (it's actually 31st). About half of all Colorado students will see their schools shuttered over two days.

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