Arizona teacher walkout stretches to third day
Public school classrooms across Arizona remained closed Monday as teachers continued to lobby state lawmakers for more pay and education funding. The walkout began Thursday and shows no sign of ending anytime soon. Organizers planned to meet Monday with state lawmakers who have so far not agreed to Republican Gov. Doug Ducey’s proposal to give teachers a 20 percent pay raise. Ducey and leaders of the state House and Senate issued a statement Saturday assuring educators that they’re working on a solution. Walkout organizers weren’t satisfied. “We have no bill. We have no deal. The devil is in the details,” said Joe Thomas, Arizona Education Association president, and Noah Karvelis, Arizona Educators United organizer. The teachers, who want $1 billion in new education funding on top of their 20 percent raises, are getting national support from union leaders thrilled to see such activism sprout in a conservative state. Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, will attend a rally in Phoenix later Monday to urge educators not to back down.
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