Teachers in Arizona, Colorado walk out for more school money

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Four school districts will be closed on Thursday as teachers head to the state Capitol. More than 840,000 Arizona students are expected to be out of school on Thursday, according to an analysis from the Arizona Republic that tallied up at least 100 school districts and charter schools that are closing. Betting that a growing economy will bolster revenue, Mr. Ducey said he could provide the raises and reinforce school budgets without tax increases, a proposal that many teachers and lawmakers doubted. In comparison, the national starting teacher salary for that same year was $38,617. It grew from red shirts and protests to costly demands: a 20 percent raise for teachers, about $1 billion to return school funding to pre-Great Recession levels and increased pay for support staff, among other things.

Another difference: The campaign at the Capitol building in Denver, expected to attract 10,000 teachers, is their second such march on the legislature this month.

Joe Thomas, president of the Arizona Education Association, didn't give an estimate on how long the walkout would last, according to AZfamily.com.

"All of these educators, mostly women, have picked up the slack", Garcia said. "I should have made some noise about why I don't have the money to buy what my kids need'".

"If we do not stand up for our kids right now, who will?" he asked. What are you going to do to reverse this decade slide and race to the bottom? "The children are the real victims of a strike", said Yarbrough. About half of all Colorado students will see their schools shuttered over two days.

"We'll have lunch for them when they show up", he said.

"We can't continue to have our schools be underfunded", said Noah Karvelis, who helped organize Arizona Educators United, the grass-roots group that pushed the Red for Ed movement on social media. "This was not an act of God".

One complication of strikes is that any day of school closure will have to be made up in order for students to complete 180 days of instruction, as mandated by state law.

What is the governor's response?

To his credit, Gov. Ducey (since the rally) announced a 20 percent raise for Arizona teachers to be delivered by 2020.

While there was concern for the need to lift Arizona teacher salaries from rock bottom, most teachers wanted to make it clear that they were most interested in helping the children they teach.

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The first-ever statewide strike got support from 78 percent of teachers who cast ballots though it could put them at risk in this right-to-work state without many union protections.

"I pull out of the parking lot and [see] my students digging through trash cans with their parents looking for aluminum cans so they are living day-by-day and that's what's really hard about there being so few teachers of color in the classroom", said Aguirre.

The leader of the state's largest teacher membership group told Phoenix television station KTVK that Ducey's unwillingness to meet with organizers makes him believe they "will be out for a while".

Matthew Simone, with the conservative Goldwater Institute, suggested that teachers direct their anger at school boards instead of the state legislature, KTVK-TV reported.

It was still early, so the recreation center was mostly quiet except for the kids lobbing free throws, but Colter said he expects parents to stop by later when they drop their kids off at the recreation center before going to work.

Where else have teachers striked?

Teachers in some districts have been advised to take personal leave time to participate.

While thousands of educators descend on the Arizona Capitol this week in protest, students will be cared for by friends, family or community organizations.

Thousands of Arizona and Colorado teachers are holding a walkout on Thursday, following weeks of teacher strikes across the country.

Kaitlyn Schallhorn is a Reporter for Fox News. This demonstration occurred before school started, letting teachers be in the classroom by the time school started.

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