STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Arizona teachers back at the Capitol as walkout continues

A red sea of Arizona's...

Posted: May 2, 2018 7:58 AM
Updated: May 2, 2018 7:58 AM

A red sea of Arizona's public school teachers and their supporters marched again Tuesday on the state Capitol in Phoenix, voicing their dissatisfaction over pay and educational funding.

The first teacher walkout in the state's history began last Thursday and was in its fourth day.

The Arizona Education Association tweeted that 50,000 people participated in the rally on Monday.

"Educators miss their students and want to be back in the classroom and schools, but we are walking out to keep the pressure on legislators and the Governor to pass a budget that funds the schools our students deserve," the group tweeted.

Arizona Educators United wants a 20% raise for teachers by next school year and yearly raises after that until teacher salaries reach the national average. The group also wants Arizona to restore education funding to 2008 levels, while Gov. Doug Ducey has offered to restore $371 million in cuts over five years.

Ducey on Tuesday released a letter to teachers and parents, saying the state was "very close" to passing a budget deal raising teacher pay. There was no immediate reaction from Arizona Educators United.

Ducey's plan, which he calls "20x2020" raises teacher pay by 20% over two years.

The governor tweeted "Arizona's economy is thriving. We have the revenue to give our teachers a 20% pay increase, and restore recession-era cuts to K-12. Let's get this done. #20x2020"

"We have a press release and a tweet from the Governor, but we don't have details on 20x2020," said Noah Karvelis, a teacher and #RedforEd movement and Arizona Educators United organizer and spokesman.

"They could have passed a budget that funds our schools by now. They could have worked over the weekend to get it done. But they didn't." Karvelis said in a letter sent to supporters that was cosigned by Joseph H. Thomas, president of the Arizona Education Association.

On the floor of the state House, Minority Leader, Rep. Rebecca Rios called Ducey's budget a "shell game."
"The reality is, you cannot make up a billion [dollar] deficit by using the same amount of income that we have," Rios said.

"It's really important at the moment because of the info coming out of the governor's office the way it is being put forward is that a deal has been struck which makes it seem like two sides met, that's not the case," Jonathan Perrone, who was at the rally, told CNN affiliate KTVK.

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten joined the rally in Phoenix on Monday.

"We have to come together to solve the funding issue -- @dougducey needs to talk to teachers and work with Republicans and Democrats to come up with real solutions," she tweeted.

"Over 50,000 citizens showing up here tells me its time for this change to happen," Lisa Wyatt, a parent, told CNN affiliate KTVK.

"To ask us just to trust is hard because when you look at history, it's hard to trust," said third-grade teacher Gwen Cordiak. "To ask us to go back to the classroom, when most people haven't even seen the bill... we've been talking to lawmakers that haven't seen bill yet... we're not going on blind faith."

Many school districts throughout the state were closed Monday due to the walkout and have announced they will remain closed Tuesday -- including the two largest school districts in the state, Mesa Public Schools and the Tucson Unified School District.

Another large school district, Sunnyside Unified School District announced it will remain closed at least through Friday.

"We don't want to be out of school another day," Karvelis and Thomas said in their letter. "We would rather be back in our classrooms, teaching our students, and finishing the year strong.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 34574

Reported Deaths: 2134
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9853578
Lake3616190
Allen161869
Cass15877
Elkhart132228
St. Joseph127434
Hendricks116971
Hamilton115993
Johnson1105108
Madison58659
Porter53928
Bartholomew51135
Clark50441
LaPorte43323
Howard40828
Tippecanoe4023
Jackson3891
Delaware38537
Shelby37322
Hancock33827
Floyd31839
Boone31535
Morgan27724
Vanderburgh2742
Montgomery24117
White2358
Noble23221
Clinton2321
Decatur22431
Grant21122
Dubois1993
Harrison19422
Henry18211
Greene16924
Vigo1698
Dearborn16821
Monroe16612
Warrick16628
Lawrence16324
Miami1401
Putnam1377
Kosciusko1351
Jennings1304
Orange12822
Scott1203
Franklin1108
Ripley1096
Marshall1082
Carroll932
Daviess8816
Steuben832
Wayne825
LaGrange812
Wabash782
Newton7810
Fayette777
Jasper671
Washington521
Jay520
Clay511
Fulton491
Rush472
Randolph473
Pulaski460
Jefferson451
Whitley423
Starke393
DeKalb371
Sullivan361
Owen351
Brown331
Perry330
Wells320
Benton300
Huntington282
Knox280
Tipton251
Blackford252
Crawford240
Fountain212
Switzerland200
Spencer201
Parke180
Gibson172
Posey160
Adams151
Ohio130
Warren121
Martin110
Vermillion100
Union90
Pike60
Unassigned0167

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 120260

Reported Deaths: 5390
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook779253642
Lake8331291
DuPage7707373
Kane6338178
Will5566276
Winnebago225155
McHenry156672
St. Clair113782
Kankakee91045
Kendall79819
Rock Island65824
Champaign6407
Madison58060
Boone45217
DeKalb4164
Sangamon35129
Jackson28610
Randolph2704
Peoria2339
McLean22013
Ogle2063
Stephenson2062
Macon19319
Clinton18617
Union15411
LaSalle15313
Whiteside14013
Iroquois1324
Coles12715
Out of IL1181
Warren1170
Jefferson10116
Knox1000
Grundy982
Monroe9512
McDonough8811
Unassigned850
Lee811
Cass730
Tazewell735
Henry690
Williamson672
Pulaski560
Marion500
Jasper457
Macoupin452
Adams441
Perry410
Vermilion401
Montgomery391
Morgan361
Christian354
Livingston342
Jo Daviess320
Douglas280
Jersey241
Fayette213
Ford201
Menard200
Woodford192
Mason180
Washington180
Hancock170
Mercer170
Shelby161
Bureau151
Carroll152
Schuyler130
Bond121
Franklin120
Clark110
Crawford110
Fulton110
Moultrie110
Piatt110
Brown100
Cumberland100
Logan100
Wayne91
Alexander80
Henderson80
Johnson80
Effingham71
Massac70
Saline70
Greene50
Marshall50
De Witt40
Lawrence40
Richland30
Stark30
Clay20
Edwards20
Gallatin20
Hamilton20
Wabash20
White20
Calhoun10
Edgar10
Hardin10
Pike10
Pope10
Putnam10
Terre Haute
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 71°
Robinson
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 71°
Indianapolis
Scattered Clouds
68° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 68°
Rockville
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 69°
Casey
Broken Clouds
69° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 69°
Brazil
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 71°
Marshall
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 71°
A warm up on the way.
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events