Approximately a thousand teachers, other staff and supporters line Congress Street at Granada Avenue in Tucson on the first day of the statewide Arizona teacher walkout on April 26, 2018.

"I think we have to come back Monday because they closed shop and ran away from us yesterday, and we have to show them that they don't get to run away from our students", Arizona Education Association president Joe Thomas told USA Today.

"Earlier this month, we stood shoulder to shoulder, in unity with the education community, to announce a plan for a 20 percent increase in teacher pay by school year 2020". Amidst widespread support for an expanded struggle, including mass protests in Colorado, the unions are doing everything they can to shut it down as quickly as possible. "We are working with you, not just today".

But there were no dollars for the following three years before funding was restored - only to be effectively zeroed out again in 2009.

Some teachers shouted over him, "We want more", while others applauded him. Educators in Oklahoma and Kentucky followed.

He spoke for less than five minutes and didn't offer any more funding than has already been proposed for next year.

Late Friday afternoon, Ducey's office announced he had reached a deal on a state budget with majority Republican leaders of the House and Senate. But the plan does not doesn't address other demands of striking educators.

Teachers like Grant who have organized a grassroots movement never seen before in the state are not bending.

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Many public school teachers have vehemently opposed such efforts, especially as state education funding has dwindled since the Great Recession.

My ex-wife informed me the proper way to refer to what she did was not "teacher", but "educator". That program, known as Students FIRST - for Fair and Immediate Resources for Schools Today - was created to put the state into compliance with a decision of the Arizona Supreme Court which found the state was not complying with its constitutional obligation to fund a "general and uniform" school system. They want better wages and increased state funding for public schools.

In Arizona, the AEA has outlined a plan to call the strike off after Monday and focus teacher energy into a ballot initiative to direct a new state income tax towards education.

John Hickenlooper said Friday that he will help push for the state to pay back about $1 billion borrowed from education during the recession.

"Site liaisons" - volunteer organizers - have been assigned by Arizona Educators United at 1,000 schools, to coordinate the work of the group and the union.

"I've had enough of not having enough", said Martha Petty, who teaches media studies at Harris Bilingual Elementary School in Fort Collins, Colo., and has been teaching for 32 years.

It would permit schools to use some of those dollars for pay raises for support staff, people not included in the governor's plan. In Colorado, at least 600,000 students were not in class on Friday. We're debating massive changes to the state pension right now that ultimately no matter what you do about it, it's going to come out of teacher's pockets. The educators have also demanded that no tax cuts be implemented till per-pupil spending reaches the national average and that social spending for socio-economically disadvantaged families and individuals be not affected during the reallocation of tax revenues.


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