Arizona Teachers Prepared for Walkout Next Week

Arizona state Sen. Steve Smith R-Maricopa speaks during a Joint Border Security Advisory Committee at the Arizona Capitol in Phoenix

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And her public change of heart comes even as teachers are voting through today on whether to walk out, with an announcement by organizers of the #RedForEd movement consisting of Arizona Educators United and the Arizona Education Association set for this Thursday evening. Teachers in other states would be wise to imitate their dissent. Arizona teachers earn a median annual wage that is almost the lowest in the nation.

Meanwhile, legislative analysts said late previous year that a new round of corporate tax cuts would leave the state $100 million short in 2018, unless spending was cut. "But I think part of that, without throwing anybody under the bus, was what went forward was the only way to get the commiserate attention that the teachers needed".

Teachers' groups say the governor's plan to finance the $670 million cost of the pay raises and the $371 million for those capital needs is not financially sustainable.

They argued a walkout endangers the overwhelming public support teachers have mustered to push for the restoration of $1 billion in cuts to education funding since the recession.

"My biggest concern in this moment is we can't let the status quo continue", Karvelis says.

"If schools shut down, our kids are the ones who lose out", Governor Ducey said on twitter after teachers announced the walkout. And he said average salaries for teachers range from $43,670 for middle school teachers to $44,220 for elementary school and $48,050 for high school teachers. Give us the schools we want to work in. The #REDforED grassroots efforts have brought to light issues Arizona public education has struggled with over the last decade. "We're truly in a state of crisis here in Arizona".

"We have crumbling school infrastructure here right now".

The Arizona Center for Economic Progress said 74% of Arizona's corporations pay $50 or less in tax every year.

Between 4 and 8 p.m. today, teachers in the #RedForEd movement will tally up the results of a vote on whether to walk out of schools. But he did not identify a revenue source for the plan, and did not address additional demands for pay raises for school support staff and restoration of past education funding cuts.

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"After years of starving our schools, some classes are stuffed with kids, while others sit empty because there isn't a teacher to teach", association organizer and Littleton elementary school teacher Noah Karvelis said in a statement.

Rebecca Garelli, a seventh-grade maths and science teacher in Phoenix, said of Ducey's proposal: "It isn't an actual plan, but rather a hastily thrown together one-pager".

Potentially more significant, one goal of that press conference was to convince teachers to vote against a strike.

However, if there aren't enough staff members to safely supervise students, the district may need to close its schools.

"It is now clear the existing proposal is not sustainable or comprehensive as a means of increasing educator pay and reinvesting in Arizona's classrooms and schools", said Save Our Schools Arizona spokeswoman Dawn Penich-Thacker.

The Auditor General's Office in March released its annual report on school district spending in 2017, but for the first time also released raw data along with the report. Voting to close down campuses in order to win better school funding can be a sobering exercise, he said. "It's a really scary thing for teachers to walk out". It is part of an worldwide rebellion of teachers, which in the last week alone saw teachers and university workers striking in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Lebanon and Kenya. A 20 percent increase would amount to $9,390, for a total of $56,339. What is going on?

"I'm all for a strike", Jane, a teacher in Phoenix, told the WSWS Teacher Newsletter.

Overall, the nationwide movement has taken politicians and labor historians by surprise, he said.

As many of you may or may not know, many teachers across the country, and in Arizona, are seeking support for their profession. It does not address a structured salary schedule. They also want school funding to return to its pre-2008 level-the state cut its per student spending by 23.3 percent after the recession-and an end to tax cuts until school funding reaches the national average. Most districts spent between 10 and 16 percent; the national average is 11.2 percent.

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