Arizona teachers: Salary raises won't fix classrooms with cockroaches

With Signed Budget, Arizona Teachers Will Go Back To School Friday

Some #RedForEd teachers were upset with the announcement - they wanted a walkout to wrangle more school funding from the Legislature, and the impression that AEU threw in the towel stirred up confusion and even anger among the #RedForEd supporters.

The action came after a weeklong teachers' strike that shut down school for the great majority of the state's 1.1 million public school students. teacher vowed to stay out until the funding package passed.

Beginning in West Virginia, strikes have spread to Oklahoma, Kentucky, Arizona and Colorado.

"This is a big win for Arizona students, teachers and for public education." he added, with the hashtag #20×2020 to signify that the increase would be 20 percent by 2020. But the teachers shot him down.

But some teachers lamented that some "pro-education" amendments they fought for were struck down, such as one that would reduce class sizes. And in Arizona where the Center for Economic Progress is now leading a campaign to raise taxes on the wealthy to pay for more education funding. Thousands of teachers (adorned in red clothing) have protested at the capitol and marched through downtown Phoenix each day since.

The $10.4 billion budget plan for the entire state provides more than $300 million in raises for the state's striking teachers in the coming year alone.

Arizona Education Association President Joe Thomas, an organizer of the strike, said that the teachers' demands were largedly ignored by Ducey and the Republican-controlled Legislature.

Amphitheater Public Schools will remain closed Thursday.

The plan steers bulk money to districts and gives them the discretion to dole out the raises as they see fit, meaning not all teachers will receive the same percentage pay bump.

Governor Ducey's signature awarded teachers a 9 percent raise in the fall and 5 percent in each of the next two years.

The budget does increase state spending on education by $200 million more than Ducey initially offered, but that still leaves overall funding far below pre-recession levels.

Friese again described the need for a sustainable funding source, and credited the #RedForEd drive for pushing lawmakers to do more. It's expected they'll be back tomorrow, ending the state's first-ever teacher walkout. Although teachers said they would end the walkout on Wednesday if the budget passed, the session stretched into the night and morning, which meant many large school districts closed school on Thursday.

The Arizona walkout is part of a simmering national rebellion over low teacher pay. That included phasing out some tax exemptions and eliminating the ability of individuals and corporations to divert some of what they owe in state income taxes to help children attend private and parochial schools.

State Sen. John Kavanagh told KTAR News 92.3 FM's Mac and Gaydos that it was fair that the deal would not have "been accomplished to the degree" that it was without the pressure from teachers.

"When we started this movement, Arizona educators pledged to keep fighting for the schools their students deserve until the end, and we were true to our word".

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