“But the winners today are the teachers in the state of Arizona”.
“Our economy has been growing, we have surplus revenues and we’re going to put these toward teacher pay”, Ducey said on Thursday, April 12.
The strike comes just a week after Gov. Doug Ducey announced a plan to raise average teacher salaries by 20 percent in 2020. Teachers say his plan doesn’t address other needs, including raises for support staff and a return to pre-Great Recession school funding levels.
Although the situation in Arizona is especially dire, it’s not an exception in the American landscape: USA public-school teachers are amongst the worst paid in rich countries. “With over 57,000 votes cast and tallied, 78% of the school employees in this state said, ‘Yes.’ This is undeniably and clearly a mandate for action”, said Joe Thomas, the President of the Arizona Educators Association.
However, the teachers argue that the governor’s proposed plan neglects other demands, including increased school funding and pay raises for school receptionists and bus drivers.
Ducey, who is up for re-election in November, insisted for weeks that he was doing all he could to boost school spending.
Arizona teachers plan to go on strike next week. Grijalva said the potential action is because of Gov. Doug Ducey and the current state legislature’s unwillingness to fund public education. And Simek said she believes some of what the governor plans to slice could end up hurting the very children her organization is working to protect.
“If a strike is planned, DVUSD will make every effort to avoid closing schools”, said superintendent Curtis Finch in a letter to parents April 13.
The Arizona PTA said when it first looked at the governor’s proposal, it was in line with PTA priorities. He said the vote showed “overwhelming support for walking out of their schools for their students, their schools and their colleagues”. It could pose child care difficulties for thousands of families and leave teachers at risk of losing their credentials. “This isn’t “political theater” – it’s about respecting our teachers and building a brighter future for Arizona”. The proposal leaves out non-teaching educators and other support staff, critics say. Therefore, students who are ready to graduate will still need to complete days they miss.
Arizona teachers who participate in the walkout may face consequences.
The logistics of a walkout will vary by district.
Mesa Public Schools, the largest school district in Arizona, indicated it will close its schools for the duration of the walkout.
The delayed strike date was meant to make it possible for school districts and parents to plan for school shutdowns. “Give our students the schools they deserve”.
“Some kids will be coming to school and really need a place to be”, she said.
“It’s an absolute shame that it has come to this, but now that we are all in this situation, I hope that the teachers and Capitol leadership can rebuild trust and come together to resolve this matter as quickly as possible for the sake of our students”. Besides having the lowest teacher pay in the nation, being overworked and having to purchase school materials out-of-pocket; she says class sizes have gone up drastically, there are deficiencies in classroom technology, the school is severely lacking class aides, there is only one counselor split between five schools, and high teacher turnover rates have all been hardships experienced at her school.