Teacher pay hike plan rejected by Arizona PTA

Arizona is next stop for movement seeking better teacher pay

Teacher pay hike plan rejected by Arizona PTA

"It's an absolute shame that it has come to this, but now that we are all in this situation, I hope that the teachers and Capitol leadership can rebuild trust and come together to resolve this matter as quickly as possible for the sake of our students". "We are throwing away an entire generation of students' opportunity of academic success".

The walkout is scheduled for Thursday, April 26 after three days of "walk-ins" to give schools, students and families time to prepare. "We would be able to have the flexibility to try and increase our classified salary scale as well", Knutsen said.

"And now we've seen educators clearly understand it's not a 20 percent raise and it doesn't do enough for us right now", he said.

Earlier this week, education advocates spoke in support of Ducey's proposal at a press conference at the State Capitol in Phoenix sponsored by Arizona Association of School Business Officials, Arizona Rural Schools Association, Arizona School Boards Association, Arizona School Administrators, Education Finance Reform Group, East Valley Institute of Technology and the JTED Consortium.

Simek, for her part, said she's not convinced that deciding not to added those dollars - dollars that originally had been proposed as necessary - will not harm children.

As in the other states where teachers have picketed, many districts in Arizona are facing teacher shortages in subjects like math, science and special education, with principals reporting that staff members are moving to deeper-pocketed states to earn up to $20,000 more per year, or to work in better-funded classrooms.

However, final votes will not be tallied by the Arizona Education Association until tonight.

"While no one wants to see a strike that prevents our children from attending school for any amount of time, our teachers and staff have the right to voice their opinions and demand change".

78% of the state's 57,000 teachers voted to strike.

Save Our Schools Arizona, one of the grassroots organizations backing teachers, announced Wednesday it does not support the governor's plan.

Parents, teachers, school boards and superintendents have remained on edge in recent weeks as educators intensified their discussions over whether to walk out of schools as their colleagues have recently done in West Virginia and Oklahoma. Gov. Doug Ducey said he was "impressed" by the movement, which calls itself #RedForEd. If schools shut down, our kids are the ones who lose out.

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Those estimates raise the possibility that even if educators accept Ducey's offer he could not get it approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature.

"We're prepared to stay out longer than the state is prepared to watch kids not graduate", Jenness said.

The poll results were released one week after Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced a proposal to boost Arizona teachers' pay 20 percent by 2020.

Teachers walk arm-in-arm with students and parents into Tuscano Elementary School as they stage a "walk-in" for higher pay and school funding Wednesday, April 11, in Phoenix.

There are risks to what is reportedly Arizona's first statewide teachers walkout, however.

Arizona teachers said the governor's pay raise plan did not address other demands such as overall school funding, according to the affiliate.

Teachers said their demands were not coming from a selfish desire for more money but were a necessity to provide quality education for students.

Ducey unveiled the so-called "20x2020" plan, which would take money from other budget areas like surplus funds, as well as anticipate economic prosperity that would put more money into Arizona coffers.

Both groups said that they are still ready to work with the governor on a new plan. More-qualified teachers, trained by the state's 627 local school districts, have fled to neighboring states for higher pay, or taken other jobs. The proposal leaves out non-teaching educators and other support staff, critics say.

Arizona's education funding experienced severe cuts since the Great Recession.

Teachers, long exhausted of low wages and a dearth of state funding, begin talking to each other online. "Our teachers are mothers and fathers, as well".

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