Ducey, who is seeking re-election this year, never showed up to address the 50,000 educators and supporters Thursday or the thousands at the Capitol on Friday. Educators across the state walked out Thursday, shutting down three-quarters of Arizona's school districts and charter schools. "Arizona is delivering on its commitment to our students and teachers", the leaders said.
Chants of frustration and signs filled the steps of the Capitol building as teachers, students and parents came together for the state-wide teachers rally.
Since 2009, Colorado legislators have reduced the amount of money they directed to help rural schools, those serving high populations of at-risk students and those serving communities with a high cost of living.
Doug Ducey on Friday announced he had reached a deal with majority Republican lawmakers on a state budget that does not address demands of striking teachers.
Ducey, a Republican, had earlier offered a cumulative 20 percent pay rise by 2020 and pledged $371 million over the next five years for school infrastructure, curriculum, school buses and technology.
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"It completely undermines any sense of trust there could be". Teachers aren't. According to the Arizona School Board Association, education funding has been cut $4.56 billion since 2009. The strike, under the banner of the RedforED campaign, comes in the wake of similar struggles in West Virginia, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and marks a fight back against decades of policies that have steadily eroded the foundations of the education system in the country.
They demanded better paychecks for teachers and more money for education. Governors of those states insist their teacher strike talks haven't been influenced by school choice options.
Pringle also announced to the crowd that they are not alone in their fight.
The school choice rallying cry that suggests the nation's most vulnerable children are trapped by failing schools has ushered in a sentiment that it may be time to try something new, if not abandon some traditional public schools. Amidst widespread support for an expanded struggle, including mass protests in Colorado, the unions are doing everything they can to shut it down as quickly as possible.
"Today, we had one classroom that had cockroaches coming from the ceiling, and in another classroom there is a leak coming from the ceiling", said one teacher. The educators have also demanded that no tax cuts be implemented till per-pupil spending reaches the national average and that social spending for socio-economically disadvantaged families and individuals be not affected during the reallocation of tax revenues.
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Ducey is playing politics.
Some school districts have planned to reopen on Monday, while others are playing it by ear, monitoring their absence data to assess whether they can reopen.
SUPERIOR, Ariz. - "My coach wears her "RedforEd" T-shirt every day and wants to go on strike", Korinna Romero, a player on the high school softball team here and the daughter of one of the area's many copper miners, told members of the Socialist Workers Party here April 21. He said it also makes him feel like a baby-sitter begging for business, which undermines his role and authority.
"Companies have changed hands many times", Ramos said. "As a professional, I feel insulted".
Gubernatorial press aide Daniel Scarpinato said his boss does not comment on pending ballot measures. "They have earned it". Currently, that money goes to the state's "rainy day" fund, and not to the schools.
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