Ducey Asks Parents to Push Lawmakers on School Proposal

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The protests are expected throughout the morning at the statehouse and will culminate with a rally at 1:30 p.m. Thursday on the west steps of the Capitol building.

Joe Thomas of the Arizona Education Association has said the walkout has no end date, and educators may have to consider a ballot initiative for education funding if lawmakers do not come up with their own plan.

In Arizona, 102 school districts were closed Thursday, impacting about 840,000 students. "Now I'm going through the legislative process to get that done".

Ducey released a plan earlier this month that he says would give teachers a 20 percent raise by 2020 and promised to give more funding to education. Despite the inconvenience, she said she supported the teachers because "they are educating our future". The state's education funding fell by 36.6 percent between 2008 and 2015. This raise is earned, and it is deserved.To parents, I understand the pain & pressure caused by today's strike. Asked whether public school teachers are paid fairly, just 26 percent said yes. "Our hope is that the teachers who choose to walk out on their children will return to their classrooms, so that students can learn and complete their school year".

"We have teachers working two to three jobs", Baca-Oehlert said.

Unlike West Virginia or Oklahoma, the issues of immigration will probably take center stage in Arizona, as almost 45% of the school system's students are Latino and more than half of Arizona's public school students hail from communities of color. Democrats may be in a position to broker a deal between teachers and Republicans, but it's a tricky situation, particularly given lame-duck governor John Hickenlooper's efforts to deal with a solvency problem in the state's teacher retirement fund in ways that are making teachers nervous.

Some of those districts had teacher work days planned, but a majority of them were closing because educators had called in to take personal days, and districts were short on substitutes, CEA Vice President Amie Baca-Oehlert said.

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Colorado now falls drastically short of funding its schools, by about $822 million annually, according to The Denver Post.

"We agree with teachers", Ducey's spokesman Patrick Ptak said.

But these solutions are not sustainable, teachers argue.

In Colorado, teachers wearing #RedforEd T-shirts and toting signs reading "Make Education Great Again" and "Can You Hear Us Now" swarmed the state Capitol Denver.

Also, Colorado ranks 31st in the nation for teacher pay, according to the National Education Association's 2017 statistics, which say Colorado teachers' annual salary averaged just under $52,000. Teachers spend an average of about $656 a year in out-of-pocket costs for school supplies. The teachers are also demanding no new corporate tax breaks until education funding is restored.

But that could change with provocations from hostile Republican legislators, two of whom have introduced legislation imposing sanctions and even jail time for teachers who strike or try to organize a strike.

Cheyenne Mountain School District 12, Colorado Springs School District 11, Falcon School District 49, Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8, Lewis-Palmer School District 38 and Manitou Springs School District 14 are among the many statewide that will not have classes on Friday.

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