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Teachers in Arizona and Colorado plan to go for funding and pay raises



Teachers here are pushing for the strike despite a pledge from Governor Doug Ducey, a Republican, to increase their salaries by 20 percent by 2020. Betting that a growing economy will support revenue, Mr Ducey said he could provide the increases and increase school budgets without tax increases, a proposition that many teachers and legislators doubted. The educators announced last week that they had voted in favor of the strike and said that 78 percent of voters said yes.

[This is what you can expect from the latest teacher walkouts.]

Arizona spent $ 8,1

21 per pupil in 2017, well below the national average, according to the state's state accountant. Arizona's average teacher salary last year was $ 48,372, well below the national average. Younger and less experienced teachers can do much less than the government average.

Joe Thomas, president of the Arizona Education Association, the state's largest teachers' union, said that the starting salary for teachers in Arizona was about $ 35,000, which many consider paid to pay down student loans or make a family hard establish. The organizers of the strike, Thomas said, tried to show political leaders how many educators were financially damaged in Arizona, where Republicans control state legislation, and years of tax cuts have eased education budgets.

Safe landing in the middle class, "Mr. Thomas added," This is no longer the case in Arizona and we need to do something now. "

It remains to be seen how Arizonas leaders will respond to the teacher movement, which Known here as #RedforEd, and how long it lasts, teachers in Oklahoma occupied the Capitol for nine days and demanded funding that largely failed to materialize despite receiving an increase of $ 6,000 – the nationwide strike of teachers in West Virginia, the schools closed for nearly two weeks.

In both Arizona and Colorado, the organizers have asked teachers to wear red during the quarrels, as they have been doing for weeks in minor protests, thousands of teachers On Thursday and Friday in Denver they wanted to climb the steps of the capital with a gold dome, where they will meet with lawmakers and ask them to come e increase the financing of the classroom. At least 27 districts in Colorado canceled the lesson and said they did not have enough teachers to accommodate the students on those days.

The propagation of the teachers' protest movement to Colorado, where the Republicans control the Senate, but the Democrats, the governor's representative and office, signals that the political borders have been crossed. So far, large-scale organized protests have been limited to deep-red states with weak unions in the public sector.

The Colorado economy is booming, but the Association of State Teachers, the Colorado Education Association, says the state has cut the education system by $ 6.6 billion since 2009.

This has affected students in a variety of ways, said Kerrie Dallman, the union president. Half of the districts in the state now have four-week school weeks, and the state's low teacher salary has helped create a staff shortage of 3,000 people.

Teacher, Ms. Dallman said, work two or even three jobs and buy her own school supplies or contact GoFundMe to pay for new textbooks.

"All educators planning to join the Capitol would much rather educate their students in the classroom," said Ms. Dallman. "But we are collectively fed, after years of doing more with less and promising that things will get better in the future."

"We can not afford to wait anymore," she added. "The students in Colorado can no longer afford to wait."

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