Published: Sat, April 14, 2018
Money | By Armando Alvarado

As Oklahoma teachers end strike, Arizona governor offers raise to avert one

As Oklahoma teachers end strike, Arizona governor offers raise to avert one

The teacher protest movement that began in West Virginia in February has spread west to Oklahoma - where teachers are in their second week of walkouts - and now to Arizona. He called for 9% teacher raises this fall and 5% raises over each of the next two years.

"We're not giving our kids what they need", he said. He recently called their protests "political theater".

On Monday, Arizona Educators United told their 35,000 Facebook members to prepare for a possible walk-out that would close schools.

In the video, the organizers pressed for more details on how Ducey and legislators would fund the proposal.

Another group that's been out front on the issue of teacher pay is Save Our Schools Arizona. The state Department of Education says that Arizona has 1,700 traditional public schools and more than 500 charter schools.

Lake Havasu Unified School District Superintendent Diana Asseier said she needed to thoroughly analyze the proposals before she could say how it will affect the district.

"We are going to be working through the weekend, I believe the legislature is in line with that and I know we can get this done". "We all are in this together, so I hope we don't let this break us apart".

"The Legislature's plan is bad, " said Chuck Essigs, lobbyist for the Association of Arizona School Business Officials.

However, the governor says he won't increase taxes and says the 20 percent increase teachers are demanding is not likely to happen.

"But the governor has been overwhelmed by events - and specifically tens of thousands of teachers staging 'walk-ins" Wednesday at more than half of the state's public schools as a show of support for that 20 percent demand. Ducey said this money would come from higher-than-projected state revenue, and a reduction in state government operating budgets, not tax increases.

The announcement comes on a week when teachers that have been protesting at the Capitol for weeks promised to set a date for a walkout. They pushed for more funding for students as well.

According to a Cronkite News analysis published last week, Arizona teachers earn an average of $10,000 less than the national average salary of $56,383.

Firefighters battle fire in apartment connected to Branson West business
The blaze in the 6700 block of Goodwin Street erupted about 9 a.m., according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department. Wilson said he doubted much would be saved because of the water used to fight the fire.

One of those teachers is Joshua Buckley of Red Mountain High School and president of the Mesa Education Association.

About 30% of classified staff are being paid minimum wage, Buckley said, making it potentially hard for the district to retain them. "You see that and you don't have to sit there and take it, you can stand up and make a difference".

March 30: Teachers are striking all over.

Arizona teachers are among the lowest paid in the nation.

Buckley thinks the #RedForEd movement may have helped push Ducey to propose the raise.

Outside Pueblo Elementary School in Scottsdale, Arizona, dozens of red-clad teachers, students and parents gathered. "I think we shocked the system with what we did on Wednesday morning across the state and what we've been doing for weeks".

He just left out one major detail: how to pay for it.

"There's a part of me that suspects, what's the catch?"

"Teachers, parents, and leaders across this state understand that many dollars put into school budgets cannot be spent on teacher pay when school buses are broken down, health insurance and utility costs are going up, class sizes are growing, roofs are leaking, students are missing classroom aids and counselors, and textbooks are 15 years old", Naimark said. "I would be happy to support those efforts in any way that I can", Douglas said in a statement.

Flanked by local school officials, Ducey in January announced the budget proposal to immediately put $100 million for the coming school year back towards "district additional assistance", and to continue to increase those funds over the next five years.

Joraanstad said Ducey's proposal addresses two of the educators' five demands: teacher pay and restoring funding cuts made during the recession.

"We're definitely trending in the right direction", he said.

Like this: