Arizona Teachers Approve Their First-Ever Statewide Walkout

Illustration for article titled Arizona Teachers Approve Their First-Ever Statewide Walkout
Image: Matt York (AP)

For the first time in state history, Arizona teachers are walking off the job to protest for higher pay and more funding for schools, following a vote of nearly 60,000 educators on Thursday night.

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The statewide protest, scheduled to take place April 26, comes after weeks of negotiations between groups representing Arizona’s teachers and state legislatures who have resisted their call for a 20% pay raise and a $1 billion increase in educational funding. Last week, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey offered a proposal that met the pay increase demand, but failed to address other educational funding priorities.

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Ducey, a Republican, tweeted his reaction to the looming statewide strike early Friday morning:

The teacher movement, dubbed #RedForEd, overwhelmingly voted in favor of the walkout, Arizona Education Association President Joe Thomas told the Arizona Republic. According to Thomas, 78% of the 57,000 teachers who voted backed the walkout.

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“This is undeniably and clearly a mandate for action,” Thomas said.

Arizona’s walkout comes at the heels of a number of other teacher-led strikes in red states around the country—beginning first in West Virginia, and quickly spreading to Oklahoma, and Kentucky.

Senior writer. When in doubt he'll have the soup.

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