Arizona Passes Education Budget To End Teacher Walkout

04 May, 2018, 13:53 | Author: Edward Snyder
  • By Mark Athitakis

The massive teacher walkout, carried out under the banner #RedForEd, began a week ago and closed schools for a majority of Arizona students.

"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", they said.

The bill then went to Gov. Doug Ducey who signed it nearly immediately. Republican governor Doug Ducey tried to preempt a walkout by offering the teachers a 20 percent raise by 2020, last month. It will be updated.

Democrats and Republicans both said the budget has come a long way from the 1 percent Ducey initially offered teachers in January.

"This budget supports Arizona's top priorities by improving the public education system and rewarding our teachers", Ducey tweeted out on Tuesday in support of his plan.

This year's Arizona budget also includes US$371 million to be delivered over the next five years in an effort to make up for the state's US$1.1 billion in education cuts since the 2008 recession.

The Arizona Senate has passed a $10.4 billion state budget plan that provides more than $300 million in raises for numerous state's striking teachers after working all night. But by the time the recovery arrived, Republicans had taken full control of Arizona's government - and they felt it more important to cut taxes than to restore funding for public education.

The Arizona verdict comes at the tide of walkouts in other states-Virginia, Kentucky, and Oaklahoma-all red states that are demanding more for education.

The #20x2020 plan has been passed by the legislature and I was proud to sign it into law, providing a 20 percent boost in teacher pay over the next three years and a significant increase in flexible dollars to Arizona schools for new textbooks, technology, infrastructure, and support staff.




Teachers must still fight for those problems to be addressed, Oswald said, adding that "the worst thing would be for this movement to dissolve".

In the early hours of Thursday morning, as the Arizona legislature was settling in for what would become an all-nighter at the statehouse to debate the 2019 budget, Marisa Wisser - a teacher at Sunset Vista Elementary School in the Glendale Elementary School District - felt her eyes well up with tears.

"We don't get to pat ourselves on the back", Friese said.

"The teachers are by no means finished", Hansen War said.

But officials from Tucson's biggest school district say they won't be ready and are working to reopen 86 school sites on Monday.

The bill will give teachers a 9 percent pay raise in the fall and 5 percent raises for the next two years.

"Not only is school not fun anymore, but it's scary", she said.

"I am going to lift my voice loud and clear which is representing so many voices in this state who are increasingly more and more angry at this ongoing strike", Republican state Rep. Kelly Townsend said in a late-night post.

At its peak, school closures impacted more than 840,000 Arizona students, according to an analysis from The Arizona Republic that tallied up at least 100 school districts and charter schools that were closing.

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