Discussion: Arizona Teachers Weigh Walkout For School Funding After Weeks Of Protests

Or the legislators could, y’know, do their job.

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4 of my 6 grandchildren are in one of the public schools, and the number of bake sales, auctions, door to door soliciting and other money making schemes being arranged just to fund necessary supplies for the teachers is unreal. There is not a week that goes by without a kid coming to my door selling a coupon book or something to buy uniforms for the team or something else. The amount of out of pocket expenses these teachers encounter and pay for is completely unreal. Support for the teachers here is widespread. AZ education has taken a complete dump in the last 15 years thanks to the AZ legislature and local initiatives and it is truly appalling.

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I am an Arizona teacher. There is no certainty that Governor Ducey’s proposal will be passed without changes in the legislature. There is no certainty that the legislature will approve future raises of 5% after the initial 1 + 9% raises. The money for raises will not come from new revenue, closing corporate tax loopholes, but come from a projected decrease in need for ACCHSS (Medicaid) and other sources such as money allotted for taking care of leaking gas tanks. Some education professionals are not targeted for raises but individual districts can allot money to them. There is no overall increase in the amount in classroom spending. My district has committed to support raises for all certified staff, but it’s not clear what they will do for classified staff.

I used to get $400 each year for classroom supplies and $400 for capital. For the last 9-10 years it has been $200 with one year of $200 extra for capital expenses.

My district is on record as supporting this proposal, possibly the only one in AZ to formally do so. It’s not nearly enough but our site liaisons have recommended supporting it and not walking out, but continuing to work for the November elections to push for the remainder of what we are asking for.

It’s not nearly enough and not guaranteed. And why have we waited this long to raise our voices? It’s very frustrating. I’m nearing the end of my teaching career and won’t benefit much from the raises, sadly. But our kids are not getting what they need. I teach science and have not had updated lab materials or technology for years. And we have 20 year old textbooks (my district is strongly in favor of digital materials for teaching so new books are unlikely.

In the meantime, we are having weekly “walk-ins” to school wearing our #RedforEd shirts and showing signs in the parking lot from 7:30 until the start of school at 7:55.