Arizona Teachers Vote To Strike, Sparking Statewide Walkout

The legislation introduced by Republican Sen. Steve Smith was set for a Monday Commerce and Public Safety Committee hearing but was delayed until Thursday for changes

The Arizona Education Association announced late Thursday that of the 57,000 teachers who submitted ballots, 78 percent voted in favor of the walkout.

The Arizona strike will occur after teachers and staffers spend the first three days of the week demonstrating solidarity with more "walk-ins" at schools around the state.

Arizona Democratic Rep. Raúl Grijalva said he supports the teacher actions.

"The worst possible thing we could do is not take action right now", Noah Karvelis, an organizer for Arizona Educators United, told ABC affiliate KNXV.

The walkout is planned for next Thursday.

Rep. Tom O'Halleran said a strike isn't ideal but teachers and school staff need adequate pay.

Because voting was carried out at school sites by AEU liaisons who connect campuses to the #RedForEd leadership, Benson believes that means teachers at school sites which are less involved or interested in #RedForEd did not cast votes.

"Arizona educators have delivered a strong message", said Thomas, a government teacher at Skyline High School in Mesa. "And that's what we're calling on them to do by Thursday, is meet us at the demands".

MUSD said the schools will stay open as long as they have enough staff to supervise students.

Teachers, who in some districts were told to use sick or personal days for the walkout, may face repercussions, including being fired and replaced if the walkout continues for an extended period. So what she did was strike out on her own and gather as much in specifics as she could from various other sources, including other state agencies.

That's not good enough, the teachers say.

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"In my district we don't want a strike because it will be a hardship, and we don't want hardship for parents" Hatcher said. "But there's some of these pieces that are preparatory that you don't want to get out because it causes a larger panic than what you want, it can be misunderstood".

"I hope he will come forward with something else, " she said.

I am committed to getting teachers this raise and am working to get this passed at the Legislature.

The district will be notifying parents and staff of any changes made through the schools' and district Facebook pages, GESD website, and their notification system.

The Cartwright School District Governing Board is planning to close all 20 of the district's campuses next Thursday if an agreement is not met with educators.

The teachers' strike, which begins on April 26, comes after Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) proposed a 20 percent increase in teachers' salaries by 2020, which would start in 2019 with a 9 percent increase, NPR reports. He promised to supply lecturers with a 20 per cent increase by 2020, and to restore faculty budgets to pre-Recession degrees over the next five years. There is a belief among these groups that years of low funding is having a significant impact on our ability to attract quality candidates into the teaching profession and is impeding the ability to effectively deliver the high level of educational experience our students deserve.

It follows similar strike-won successes, with huge public support, in West Virginia and Oklahoma, plus a sick-out in Kentucky.

Both media outlets used the posts to throw doubt on the AEU claim that #RedForEd is an apolitical movement that is only focused to securing better pay for teachers, not a partisan agenda.

Teachers here are now demanding those cuts be restored, with no new tax breaks until that happens.

Madison district officials expect to announce Monday night what schools will close. They held signs and protested the low pay before walking into their classrooms together in a show of solidarity.

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