Arizona educators vote for statewide walkout under #RedForEd

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It’s the third statewide teachers’ strike this year.

After teachers in West Virginia and Oklahoma went on strike over low pay and inadequate funding, Arizona teachers are ready for a walkout of their own. The state’s educators voted Thursday to strike next week, making Arizona the third state in the past year to host a statewide teacher walkout.

The teachers’ strike, which begins on April 26, comes after Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) proposed a 20 percent increase in teachers’ salaries by 2020, which would start in 2019 with a 9 percent increase, NPR reports. However, teachers fear the plan will not benefit the state’s education system in the long-term, as teachers also need funds for better educational resources.

Teachers instead want the state to increase funding levels to those of Arizona’s 2008 educational budget, improve pay for school support staff, create a permanent salary structure with annual raises, and halt tax cuts to the education budget until Arizona’s funding per pupil reaches the national average level, the Arizona Republic reports.

“We are underfunding our students,” Arizona Educators United organizer and teacher Noah Karvelis told the Republic. “We are throwing away an entire generation of students’ opportunity of academic success.”

Now that 78 percent of 57,000 state educators voted to strike, protesters are banding together under the hashtag #RedForEd, a grassroots campaign that originally began with teachers wearing red to raise awareness for improving school districts’ work conditions and education resources. Teachers, activists, supportive politicians, and their allies are now using the hashtag both offline and on Twitter for the upcoming strike as they continue to demand change from the state government.

Just like in West Virginia and Oklahoma, teachers are ready to protest in person to pressure the government to support educators.

Oklahoma recently ended a nine-day strike after the state Senate agreed to increase education funding to around $40 million. Oklahoma Education Association President Alicia Priest has since called for teachers to focus on this year’s upcoming midterm elections in order to make sure teachers’ demands are met, NPR reports.

H/T Fortune

Ana Valens

Ana Valens

Ana Valens is a reporter specializing in online queer communities, marginalized identities, and adult content creation. She is Daily Dot's Trans/Sex columnist. Her work has appeared at Waypoint, Truthout, Bitch Media, Kill Screen, Rolling Stone's Glixel, and the Toast. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.