Teachers in the southwestern USA state of Arizona have overwhelmingly voted to strike to demand improved wages for educators and support staff and restore more than $1 billion in school funding cuts over the last decade.
PHOENIX - April 19, 2018 - Today, the Arizona Education Association (AEA) and Arizona Educators United (AEU) announced in front of AEA headquarters, that Arizona educators voted to walk out of Arizona's schools - citing 10 years of drastically underfunded schools resulting in overcrowded classrooms, crumbling infrastructure, and low wages for educators.
Arizona Educators United and the Arizona Education Association announced the walkout late Thursday, after a vote of approval from 78 percent of teachers and school staff.
The median pay is $42,474 for Arizona elementary teachers and $46,070 for high school teachers, when adjusted for costs of living, according to a 2017 Morrison Institute for Public Policy report. One of the teachers' demands, a moratorium on future tax cuts until education spending has reached the national average, is sure to rile many Republicans.
The governor stated "nobody desires to see lecturers strike" and reiterated his proposal on Twitter after the vote was introduced.
But many teachers rejected that plan, or said they distrusted Mr. Ducey, a first-term Republican. Even if the immediate dispute is resolved, the teachers' broader demands directly conflict with GOP priorities. The plan would price about $650 million when totally carried out.
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"One of the main things is we don't have a sustainable revenue source to fund these raises". "We name on superintendents and faculty boards to help their lecturers and help workers throughout this time".
Ducey's proposal has the support of several business groups.
"I do not need to put any limitations on it proper now", Karvelis stated. "But we all agree that Arizona needs to do more for our teachers and our kids". "So overall I think the Governor and the Legislature did a good job with this proposal".
"It's unfortunate that some people in Arizona can't get used to taking yes for an answer", Rep. Maria Syms of Paradise Valley said Monday. Providing teachers with guns isn't going to solve such a shortage, but providing them with a commendable raise will. She urged the Republican governor and the Legislature to come up with a new plan for funding teacher raises and restoring school funding that is long-term, permanent and sustainable that "does not hurt others".
In the Senate, President Steve Yarbrough said teachers might pay a big political price if they strike.
"We can't support that, " Simek said.
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"That level just for K-12 might be attainable, but there's going to an terrible lot of deprivation everywhere else in government, and that concerns a lot of members", Kavanagh said.
"It's not just about our pay and that's one of the reasons we are not satisfied with what Gov. Ducey said the other day", said teacher Natalie Peck.
Mother and father and communities have already got been planning for baby care, with some stay-at-home mother and father stepping as much as watch kids so different mother and father can work, she stated.
The proposal also has the backing of the Arizona School Boards Association as well as groups representing school superintendents and rural school districts.
There are risks to what is reportedly Arizona's first statewide teachers walkout, however.
Quintana added, "While our hope is that school will continue on our regular schedule, we also understand the frustration felt by staff members who deserve meaningful raises, improved teaching and learning conditions, and a reliable funding stream so that all Arizona schools can provide a world class education to our students".
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"We don't always agree on every issue, " he said.