Behind the teacher strikes that have roiled five states

04 May, 2018, 10:07 | Author: Jeannette Greene
  • As governor approves raises, Arizona teacher strike ends

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed an education budget into law Thursday that will increase teacher pay, likely ending a teacher strike in the state.

The House and Senate began working on education funding in earnest April 26, the first day of a statewide teacher walkout that would still be going a week later.

With state governments the primary sources of public education funding in the U.S., teachers in several Republican-dominated states have recently protested for more funding after years of cuts.

In the first few days of the walkout, nearly all of the state's 1.1 million public school students were affected and unable to attend school.

Rep. Kelly Townsend, R-Mesa, who has been a vocal opponent of the teacher walkout sought to make it illegal for teachers to "use classroom time to espouse political ideology or beliefs", language that could be read to preclude teachers from wearing their #RedForEd T-shirts in class.

One of those large districts, in Scottsdale, announced shortly after the budget passed that schools would reopen Friday.

Republicans also rebuffed attempts by Democrats to send more money toward schools and received concessions of their own.

"I know people look at it as 'oh, look at all of this money we just got, '" she said. They also wanted the state to fully restore funding cuts made in the past decade, which would have cost more than $1 billion.

When you adjust for inflation, in the last full school year, teachers in Arizona made almost $9,000 less on average than they did in the 1989-90 school year.


"The hard work we've done with budgeting in the Legislature over the past few years helped put us in a position to provide funding for unprecedented pay raises for our outstanding teachers, without raising taxes".

"Signed", Ducey tweeted. "Teacher raises are on the way".

It also scrapes together funds by other means, including more than $100 million in dollars freed up as a result of a new vehicle registration fee. Still, it comes up well short of the walkout organizers' demand that funding be restored to 2008 levels, adjusted for inflation.

Through labor militancy, Arizona teachers succeeded in forcing Republicans to make investments in public education that they did not want to.

With comparisons to the Arab Spring revolts that swept a wave of democratization in the Middle East and North Africa in 2010, the teacher strikes of 2018 are empowering educators to take their fights for salary hikes and increases in education funding to the streets.

Although the teachers' raise is now enacted, districts in Phoenix, Tucson and Tempe, along with more than three dozen districts throughout the state, had notified parents that classes were canceled Thursday, according to the Arizona Republic newspaper.

"It's a lot easier for teachers to strike and agitate in a red state because they're not anxious about getting crosswise with their allies", said Rick Hess, resident scholar and director of Education Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute.

Most of the statements being handed down from the union have been delivered by Joe Thomas, president of the Arizona Education Association (AEA).

Recommended:



Popular

Feds indict ex-VW CEO in diesel-cheating scandal
Former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn is facing some serious charges in relation to the automaker's Dieselgate scandal . Environmental Protection Agency accused VW of using a so-called "defeat device" on its 2.0-liter turbodiesel.

Mike Pompeo takes oath as Secretary of State
Now, on his first day back in Washington, he is re-shining the spotlight on the role of America's top diplomat. As he gestured to Pompeo, he added that "that spirit will only be magnified with this man right here".

Xiaomi files for largest Chinese tech IPO since 2014
Its 2017 revenue surged by 67.5% to 114.6 billion yuan ($18 billion), with overseas sales more than tripling to 32.1 billion yuan. That puts it in fourth spot globally behind Samsung, Apple and Huawei, both by market share and by actual shipment.

Anushka Sharma to be real life Dr Dolittle
Early in the morning, Virat Kohli , husband of actress Anushka posted an update on Twitter wishing his wife a very happy birthday. Moreover, the teams below the franchise are also breathing down their neck, which makes their task even more challenging.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have chosen their wedding day ride
Windsor Grey horses , who traditionally pull the royal family's carriages, will carry Prince Harry and Markle on their big day. The carriage was last used by the Queen and Prince Philip during Her Majesty's 90th birthday celebrations.

Ball-tampering scandal: Ethics Centre to conduct Cricket Australia review
The behaviour of the national team had come under fire before the ball tampering drama at Newlands brought the issue to a head.

JUST IN: Casualties in Mubi mosque attack rise to 27
Nigeria has bought a dozen A-29 Super Tucano light fighter aircraft in a $496-million (413-million-euro) deal. The authorities have also previously played down casualty figures.

Shell Midstream Partners (SHLX) Now Covered by Deutsche Bank
It also upped Merck & Co Inc (NYSE:MRK) stake by 19,108 shares and now owns 379,144 shares. 159 are held by Highstreet Asset. EnLink Midstream Partners , LP, through its subsidiary, EnLink Midstream Operating, LP, provides midstream energy services.

Buses carrying Central American migrants roll to US border
A class action lawsuit filed past year accuses US Borders and Customs Protections of illegally turning away asylum seekers . Hundreds of Central Americans have travelled to the U.S. border wall in Mexico to claim asylum.

Check out these leaked details for the rumoured new iPhone
Bloomberg claims that Cook and other Apple executives have a "major prove-me" period ahead, beginning with a new sales forecast. You will still have to rely on lightning earbuds or get yourself a Bluetooth Headphone for the cordless audio experience.