Arizona opening day cares to get ready for teacher strike
27 April, 2018, 00:33 | Author: Edward Snyder
Arizona teachers went on strike after voting overwhelmingly last week to take the drastic move in hopes it will pressure lawmakers into giving them a 20 percent pay hike, fork over a $1 billion in education funding and up the salaries of school support staff.
Widespread protests also were underway in Colorado, where some schools have shut down.
She acknowledged that everyone wants a raise, but that paying teachers more benefits more than just the person getting the paycheck.
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.
Young women carrying babies joined retired teachers as rock music blared.
The crowd, many of whom carried water jugs and umbrellas, walked 2 miles in heat that reached the mid-90s as employees at courthouses and office buildings left work to watch.
In Arizona, 102 school districts were closed Thursday, impacting about 840,000 students. And more than one sign referenced an outdated but commonly cited statistic claiming that Colorado ranks 46th in country for teacher pay (it's actually 31st). "It is an incredible experience to stand on the street with hundreds of educators and supporters of education amongst honking and cheering from passing cars".
"We're here today because of our students", Amie Baca-Oehlert, a high school counselor and vice president of the Colorado Education Association, told ABC News outside the Capitol building.
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. But teachers say that the state has a long way to go to make up for lost ground.
Republican Gov. Doug Ducey offered teachers a 20 percent raise by 2020. Thomas said Gov. Ducey has ignored their requests.
Teachers and some lawmakers say the proposal relies on rosy revenue projections.
Teachers and administrators tried to make it easier for parents, pairing Thursday's walkout with Take Your Child to Work Day.
Addie Martinez dropped off her 9-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter before rushing off to her job as a medical assistant.
The facility is prepared to host up to 100 kids and provide breakfast, lunch and snacks at $25 per child.
Nichole Soyka, an eighth grade reading teacher, said that she's been hit especially hard by the lack of funding because she's only in her second year of teaching and doesn't have access to the same resources that the veteran teachers in her district might have in their rooms.
Martinez said she was prepared to take her children back Friday and next week to the center, which offers activities that include arts and crafts and dodgeball.
Cheyenne Mountain School District 12, Colorado Springs School District 11, Falcon School District 49, Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8, Lewis-Palmer School District 38 and Manitou Springs School District 14 are among the many statewide that will not have classes on Friday. The state Department of Education said the state has more than 200 districts and more than 1.1 million schoolchildren.
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