Arizona and Colorado Teachers Walking Out

Makayla Colhoff, Staff Writer

Teachers in Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona and Denver, Colorado want the funding and pay wages to raise in each of the states. This group of protesters was called the Red-Clad. Arizona educators want a 20% pay raise by this coming school year and would like wages to raise yearly until they reach the national average teachers salary. The teachers would also like the funding to go back to the way it was in 2008, which was per student. After 2008 many states funding took a 10% or more cut to education. Governor Doug Ducey has offered to restore $371 million in cuts over a 5 year time.

The Arizona American Federation of Teachers (AFT) on Wednesday made its own proposal which was that they would pay for school funding and for teachers raises. From around 30,000 to 50,000 teachers were walking toward the capital to protest for how they are treated and how they are being paid. From this walkout in Arizona more than 100 school districts are being closed, as well as charter schools. The teachers and their supporters also would like to pit 1 billion dollars toward funding to Recession levels.

In Denver, Colorado there was also a walk out on Thursday of more than 10,00 teachers. The teachers and their supporters planned to protest for 2 days.There were about 25 school districts closed due to the absence of teachers. The teachers marched around the state capital in Denver, chanting and drawing honks from onlooking drivers. The lawmakers in Colorado have agreed to give the schools the largest budget since the Great Recession. The teachers union in Denver is backing a ballot initiative to raise taxes on people earning more than $150,000 a year and larger corporations.

Madeleine Smith, a freshman a Lake City, was asked if she thinks that teachers should be paid more and have more funding than they receive. “I do think that teachers should be paid more for what they have to put up with during their job. Kids are just so disrespectful, and don’t care about much of anything”.

Teachers want to teach their students because they love to help them, and help them learn. They also want to help them grow and succeed in life. Teachers deserve to have a pay raise, funding for activities in their classes and the resources they need to help their students succeed.