Arizonas parents tried to find alternative arrangements for their children as the state prepared for a third day of rioting by teachers.
It is estimated that at least 800,000 Arizona students were affected by the strike, which began on Thursday with some school districts closed in the state until further notice. Teachers are demanding that the legislature increase their wages by 20%.
Churches, community centers, youth clubs, food banks and community organizations provide free and discounted services to take care of students. School districts are also opening their doors to provide meals and allow out-of-school programs to operate throughout the day.
"We offer breakfast, lunch, and snacks," said Chuck Smyers, an administrator at The Springs Church, Chandler, part of Greater Phoenix. "We predict that the longer this thing goes on, the more people will need it."
Arizona mother Jennifer Goehring, a nurse and former teacher, said she supports the teachers but not the strike. [1
Teachers in several states, including Arizona, Colorado, Kentucky, Oklahoma, and the West Virginia, have been actively working to demand better pay and benefits from strikes. 19659004] Thirty-six states are banning technicians from the strike, including all states that have previously experienced a strike except Colorado. But the protests that have been seen so far this year do not count as strikes, as many superintendents preemptively shut down schools and other teachers use sick days to protest.
In Arizona, Tempe Elementary School District Superintendent
In a letter, parents said, "I can no longer guarantee that your child has a engaging and meaningful learning experience and ensures the safety and well-being of students and staff." The district's schools are closed until further notice
The Goldwater Institute, a conservative-leaning think tank, criticized teachers for going out. Matthew Simon, director of education policy at the institute, said in a press release that the strike in Arizona is causing "real harm" by depriving students of learning.
"As a former teacher, I know the negative effects of having a day class can have on a student, let alone on several days," said Simon.
Arizona's strike began with teachers who demanded that the legislature increase their wages through a combination of tax increases and other demands. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey proposed to fund a wage increase through existing revenue, despite continuing to oppose tax hikes, and the legislature has not accepted his proposal.
Many parents have spoken out in support of the teachers, although some recognize the inconvenience of having to make alternative plans for childcare.
Nancy Pereschuk, a student at Arizona State University, said she took days off on Thursday and Friday to look after her three school-aged children. If the strike continues, he has found a childcare. But, she added, it's worth the effort.
"It's certainly uncomfortable, but it's like, what's the endgame?" She said. She found that she has seen budget problems at the relatively wealthy school of her children in Chandler. The School Has Asked Parents to Donate a Range of School Supplies, From Glue Sticks to Copy Paper
For decades, Arizona's teacher salary has been roughly matched to the US median rate of the National Education Association teachers' union. That changed when the state's big construction industry retreated after the 2008 housing crisis and tax revenues dried up.
A decade later, government revenues have recovered, but school funding has not. Education spending in Arizona has fallen 10% on a price-adjusted basis since 2008, according to annual reports. Teacher salaries have dropped 8%, according to the NEA, and are now in seventh place in the US.
In Colorado, teachers went out Thursday and Friday and closed 30 school districts, but planned to return to school on Monday. Some teachers said that the goal was to illuminate low teacher salaries, and they still intend to reach out to MEPs.
Colorado teacher Angela Anderson said she spent personal days in Denver with lawmakers on Thursday and Friday. She prefers not to call it a match.
"I do not go out on my kids Colorado's kicked out my kids when they did not provide enough funding," said Ms. Anderson, a high school social studies teacher in Lakewood. "I use my personal days to speak for my students."
Write to Tawnell D. Hobbs at Tawnell.Hobbs@wsj.com and Michelle Hackman to Michelle.Hackman@wsj.com