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

04 May, 2018, 10:03 | Author: Darrell Baldwin
  • Gov. Doug Ducey says he will sign the bills once they are sent up. The budget plan allocates more funding to education among other things

Is my school open or closed Friday for Arizona teacher walkout? Republican governor Doug Ducey tried to preempt a walkout by offering the teachers a 20 percent raise by 2020, last month. His 20 By 20 plan would give teachers a 20 percent pay hike by 2020.

"Arizona teachers have earned a raise, and this plan delivers", Ducey said in a statement.

Thousands of Arizona teachers who walked out of schools a week ago to protest low pay and slumping education funding are slated to head back to class Friday, marking an end to one of the biggest teacher protests in a year that has seen a spate of job actions. Like her colleagues, Representative Lela Alston explained her vote by saying that she was voting no "with a heavy heart". "We should take pride in what we have accomplished, and in the movement that we have created together". "The impact our teachers have on the lives of Arizona kids can not be overstated".

The strike, which began last week, has led to the closure of schools across 110 districts.

Organizers of the #RedForEd Movement say their fight for more school funding will continue, even as teachers return to their classrooms.

Republicans like Representative T.J. Shope, however, said that the proposal is solid.

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

"It's unbelievable that we sit here and we try to call ourselves a hero after we've set the house on fire", said state Rep. Reginald Bolding, D-Phoenix.

The almost $10.5 billion budget includes about $300 million for teacher pay raises this year.

The state's Democratic lawmakers, however, expressed skepticism over whether the promised pay raises would be possible without additional sources of revenue. All of the Democrats' amendments failed.

Oswald said the budget still does not address serious issues such as the need for higher per-pupil spending, raises for support staff and a smaller-student-to-counselor ratio.

There also was no GOP support for the proposal by Rep. Kelli Butler, D-Paradise Valley, to limit class size to no more than 25 students.

Legislators arguing in favor of the #RedForEd goals played up their responses to the audience of teachers wearing red T-shirts who packed the gallery. Lawmakers have slashed education funding in the state since the Great Recession. "The change happens with us!" There are 3.2m public-school teachers in America. Are we complaining about that? A grassroots group, Arizona Educators United, organized the walkout in conjunction with the union.

She told the House floor that teachers do not have a First Amendment right, prompting laughs in the adjacent overflow room where teachers were watching the proceedings.

"I think that's inherently wrong", Smith said.

One by one, Democratic lawmakers rose to explain the reason why they were voting "no" on the funding package.

"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.

"Now we've got to sustain it and bring answers", Karvelis said.


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