Arizona teachers and supporters march to the Capitol in Phoenix on Thursday, April 26, 2018, west of Washington during the #ReForEd Teacher Strike.
Tom Tingle, The Republic |

As a parent, Maria James would be relieved to see a nationwide student outage next week. She wants to bring her children back to school so they do not fall behind.

As a former teacher, she is ready to wait if that means the strike will work. She wants teachers to be heard in her fight for more education funding.

On Saturday, James was on the sidelines of the softball game of her fifth grade daughter at Tempes Kiwanis Park. She has no plans for Monday, the third scheduled day of the teacher's nationwide strike.

Either she or her husband take a day off, or the kids spend the day in a Boys & Girl's Club.

" You will have to do it (lost time due to the strike) – I expect the end of the year to be imminent," she said.

RELATED: Parents, daycare clings for persistent strike

Many parents want the strike, which has affected thousands of children and caused inconvenience – kept their children out of the classroom and let them crawl for child care – to make a difference, to increase Arizona's reputation in funding schools, students, and teachers.

On Saturday, some parents said they were worried about the troubled school days. Some are fired marching in red together with the teachers of their children. Others are also considering whether voters will support an electoral initiative to fund education, as proposed by the # RedForEd leaders.

Many large school districts in Arizona, including Mesa and Chandler, remain closed on Monday as the strike continues.

Students can return to school.

No one knows if lawmakers will meet the demands of teachers. Nobody knows how long teachers will endure.


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Supporting teachers, caring for students

Saturday was bright and warm, even in the morning as kids softball games and football Trained practices. Infants scurried on footballs, clutching plastic toys, followed closely by laughing parents.

At a picnic table near her son's arcade game in Arcadia, Teresa told Greenleaf what her family did to support #RedForEd. After the softball game, her family planned to line up with other Cherokee Elementary families and teachers on Scottsdale Road.

"More money has to go to our school and our children," she said. "(The activism) was a very good feeling."


Billy Cundiff agreed on a tribune nearby. His son's school is a charter and taught, but housed the teachers who wanted to go to the Capitol Rally.

Even if the lesson had been canceled, he said he would still support #RedForEd. He comes from a family of teachers.

"If we want our state to be competitive, we have to take education seriously," he said. "I think something to get our legislature to take this issue seriously, I think it's important."

Cundiff, a registered independent, said he tends to be "fairly conservative," along with "the majority of Arizona's," but none of this triggered his concerns about education funding.

"You will have to solve this income problem," he said. "That's just it."


The heat could not stop these music teachers and band directors. They are warming up right now. #RedForEd @azcentral
The Republic |

Fear of the Unknown

On another side of Metro Phoenix, Jamie Lowe clutched her little daughter Reagan on a gray blanket in Kiwanis Park. She worries about her eldest daughter, who is about to graduate from high school in the Tempe Union High School District.

"I know how difficult it is for public school teachers, they are underpaid and overburdened."

Jamie Lowe, Parent

Lowe's daughters will be confronted with completely different educational systems. Even before the teacher's departure, the mother had decided to send her youngest to a private school, disappointed by large class sizes.

"I know how difficult it is for public school teachers, they are underpaid and overburdened," Lowe said.

She worries that her teacher Jessica's graduation on May 25 in the balance

It's "the fear of the unknown," she said.

"I wish they had done it after the school year, but they did not get any attention," Lowe said.

The graduation is scheduled to expire in the Tempe Union, and officials have not yet decided whether the students will have to catch up on days according to the district's website.

SCHOOL DIVISIONS: Monday #RedForEd School Dropout

Changing the Future?

For many of the parents and grandparents The Arizona Republic interviewed on Saturday that the change of teachers represents an opportunity to change the future.

The lost days are insignificant compared to what's on the battlefield in the Capitol at stake.

Camille Hardy, a mother of two boys playing at Kiwanis Park, said she was fine in bringing her children home through the strike.

"I think (teachers) should stay out as long as they need," she said. "Their salary should reflect what they are doing and it should be in line with what other teachers are doing across the country."

RELATED: #RedForED Strike Continues on Monday

There are a few proposed options for increased funding on the table.

On Friday, Governor Ducey said he made a budget deal with lawmakers, but revealed no details.

If the deal is identical to what he proposed a few weeks ago, educators have already rejected this plan for several reasons, among other things, because it will not restore the nearly $ 1 billion in education funding that has been cut since the recession, payment of support staff and the prohibition of new tax cuts until students reach the national average.

Several groups have proposed a campaign on Friday calling for voters to fund education through higher income taxes on people earning more than $ 250,000.

Hardy is uncertain about an election initiative.


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She is not sure if she trusts that the money will be used for education. [19659008] "I'm all in favor of raising my taxes for better education, better health care, I'm fine doing that for the wider community, but I want it to work for what I choose," said you.

James would support an electoral initiative, hoping that her children would see that funding shapes their classrooms.

"You need more books, updated computers, more art stuff, more music," she said. "If more people had voted in favor of marijuana, if it were allowed here in Arizona, as is the case in Colorado and Florida, then maybe much of that tax money would have gone into training."

MORE: Voters could comment on educational funding, teacher salary

In Arcadia, Nelson Strasser watched as his grandson ran across a softball field.

Grandfather, a retired businessman, is a consultant at a Scottsdale school and makes $ 10.50 an hour. Strasser's social security check complements his income.

"I'm not worried about my grandson because he has all the privileges of a middle-class child," he said.

But not all children and families are so lucky.

Strasser's hope is that Arizona's entire education system will be revived with additional resources, beginning with state educators.

"Teachers work hard," he said. "Who can raise a family for $ 30,000 a year, why not make a decent living?"


Teachers and other supporters attend the #RedforEd rally at the Arizona Capitol in Phoenix on the second day of the Arizona Teachers Go Out.
The Republic |


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