by Countable | 4.3.18
UPDATE - April 20, 2018: Teachers in Arizona have voted in favor of a statewide walkout next week.
The move follows similar actions by educators in Oklahoma, Kentucky, and West Virginia.
The Arizona Education Association re-tweeted:
The planned protests are in response to a proposal by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) to give teachers a 20 percent raise by 2020, starting with a 9-percent increase in 2019.
Teachers are countering that the governor's plan fails to address much-needed school funding and pay raises for support staff like bus drivers and receptionists.
Countable's original story appears below.
The successful statewide teacher’s strike in West Virginia has emboldened teachers in other deep red states. On Monday thousands of teachers walked out of classrooms in Kentucky and Oklahoma. Arizona may be next. What are they demanding? Do you support their efforts?
Kentucky teachers are striking over a change to their pensions. Legislation changing their benefit plan from a defined benefit to a hybrid plan, combining elements of traditional pensions and private 401(k) accounts, passed last week.
There will be no changes to the annual cost of living adjustments, which will remain at 1.5%, teachers will have to contribute to their pension, and the number of sick days they can roll into their retirement will be limited.
The legislative wording was inserted into a bill on "sewage services" and teachers say it was submitted without opportunity for teacher testimony, an actuarial analysis or a fiscal impact statement.
Kentucky teachers are not eligible to collect Social Security benefits.
Oklahoma teachers received an approximately 16 percent annual raise (an average of $6,000) via legislation last week, but teachers are demanding an average of $10,000.
They are also demanding additional funding for schools and raises for support staff, including bus drivers and custodians. Teachers have posted pictures to social media of crumbling textbooks they are required to use in classrooms.
The state ranked 49th in the country in average teacher salary in 2016.
Arizona ranked 43rd in the nation on average teacher salary in 2016.
2,500 teachers rallied at the state capitol last week demanding a 20 percent pay raise.
West Virginia teachers’ strike lasted 9 days and shut down every district in the state. In the end, Gov. Jim Justice signed legislation giving teachers and some support staff a 5 percent raise.
Do you support the striking teachers or not? If you don’t, what do you think the answer is to their concerns?
Since these are state government issues, be sure to check out our Voter Center and get involved in your state!
Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!
(Photo Credit: @TavoPulidoTAZ via Twitter)
Written by Countable