Gov. Ducey claims deal is reached to resolve teacher walkout

Frederick Owens
May 2, 2018

She said she had a "wake-up call" when she learned a teacher paid out of pocket for a field trip.

"My job is not to tell them what to think". But Segura acknowledged that the situation at Xavier was unusual - thousands of students at districts across the state are not in class this morning. "When I went into the classroom, that was the best part" of his college experience at SaginawValleyStateUniversity, he said. Phoenix Police Department estimated the crowd size at 50,000.

The strike has thrown a direct challenge to the administration of Arizona and its legislature.

"This pay raise will be in the budget that we are going to pass", said Smith.

It was still early, so the recreation center was mostly quiet except for the kids lobbing free throws, but Colter said he expects parents to stop by later when they drop their kids off at the recreation center before going to work.

"We do whatever we have to do to be able to stay in the job that we love for as long as we can", said Weekley, who has taught for 24 years. Educators said that the decision to walk out was a hard one. I want you to know, I am working to get this 20 percent raise passed at the Legislature.

"Arizona is delivering on its commitment to our students and teachers", the leaders said.

Multiply that by 1.1 million students and that's the $1 billion educators say is has been taken from schools. Thomas said his group backs the measure.

With over 1,000 Arizona public schools in almost 110 school districts shuttered due to the walkout, some 852,000 students, were affected.

Day 2 of the #RedforEd rally drew a smaller crowd amid talks that the walkout will continue into next week.

Teachers in the USA earn significantly less than workers in comparable jobs, especially in states such as Arizona, Colorado and Kentucky where educators have been protesting and walking out of school.

When Cami Winsor, a daughter of a copper miner, heard that coal miners backed the teachers in West Virginia, she said, "That's really cool".

Ducey has proposed a cumulative 20 percent pay increase by 2020, but the #RedForEd teachers and other education groups have rejected the plan for lacking a dedicated revenue source to bankroll the raises.

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Late Friday afternoon, Ducey's office announced he had reached a deal on a state budget with majority Republican leaders of the House and Senate.

Lawmakers agreed two decades ago to assume responsibility for new school construction and major repairs.

"The governor wants to make it all politics", Thomas said.

What does it mean when people say Colorado schools are underfunded?

"What's cruel is what's happening to our students in overcrowded, underfunded classrooms".

Our advice top teachers: Forget about negotiating with Ducey and the Legislature or attempting to strongarm them with a strike.

Some of the teachers held signs referencing the Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR) and Gallagher Amendment - two pieces of legislation that greatly impact education funding.

"It's classic", Karvelis said. (At least he's not trying to tap the schools' own land trust fund any further.) And the GOP's record of opposing and reneging on past school funding deals while shifting funds to the unaccountable private sector make it likely that even if they negotiate, it won't be in good faith. At the moment, that seems like a high bar for the Arizona walkout. In Oklahoma and West Virginia, teacher strikes stretched beyond the one-week mark.

"It was hour-by-hour", Eskelsen García told Phoenix New Times.

"We can't afford to wait anymore", she added.

"I just cried", said Garner, a teacher for six years.

Finally, Peterson says, "We are walking out in solidarity with teachers all over the state and in support of all of the staff in the education system".

"I know there are thousands of mothers and fathers today who are anxious about what they're going to do tomorrow", Garcia said.

"Over the past two years, we've increased K-12 education by 9%, now i know that not enough, I share your frustration", said Hickenlooper.

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