Teacher raises passed after strike shuts schools

04 May, 2018, 13:56 | Author: Diane Mills
  • Arizona

The result, paradoxically, is that states where teaching unions are weaker now have more politically active teachers.

The proposed deal would give teachers a 10% raise next year, with the aim of a 20% increase by 2020.

After a nighttime legislative budget session that the legislature passed the brand new education spending Part of the budget and Republican Gov. Doug Ducey signed the part of the fiscal budget.

The action came after a weeklong teachers' strike that shut down classes for the majority of the state's 1.1 million public school students. Teachers wanted a return to pre-recession funding levels, regular raises, competitive pay for support staff and a pledge not to adopt any tax cuts until per-pupil funding reaches the national average.

Arizona Educators United organizer Noah Karvelis said it was up to teachers and their districts whether they want to stay closed. Arizona can not make up the billion dollars we've cut from our schools with the revenue stream we have now. Thomas said he's confident that educators and their supporters will remain mobilized.

"I am excited to see my students again soon, but I am heartbroken that we had to fight this hard for such a small amount of funding", Wisser said.

"Republicans and Gov. Ducey wrote a check this morning that we very likely can't cover beyond one year", said Rep.

Oklahoma teachers also won a raise and an increase in education funding, and Kentucky teachers successfully pushed back against pension reform that could have significantly reduced benefits. The Arizona walkout was being planned for weeks, after West Virginia teachers successfully negotiated raises by closing schools for nine days.

The Senate approved the raises just before dawn as hundreds of red-shirted teachers followed the proceedings from the lobby, many sitting on the cold stone floor.

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Budget cuts over the last decade have cut to the community colleges of Arizona. "You can't set a house on fire, call 911 and claim to be a hero".

The final budget represents a 5.7 percent overall growth in spending from $9.8 billion in FY18 financed primarily through rosier projections. The state House and Senate reportedly pulled an all-nighter to get the legislation to his desk.

On Thursday, House Democrats voted against the K-12 budget bill, which addressed teachers' pay, because they said it didn't go far enough to fund schools and pay raises, according to the Arizona Republic.

Republicans were opposed to that, as well as to requiring one counselor for every 250 students. Meanwhile, the governor pushed through a radical expansion in school vouchers that will divert funding out of the public system and into private schools - unless voters shoot down the measure in a ballot initiative this fall. And she lashed out at teachers who were in the gallery - teachers presumably on strike - who were watching the debate.

Townsend said she understands how funding decisions are made at the Legislature. Thousands of Colorado teachers rallied at the state capitol Monday.

"I think they're pretty frustrated".

Not everything the Democrats tried to add to the budget was related to school funding - or even to money.

In the Senate, state Sen.

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