Hundreds of public schools in Arizona and Colorado closed on Friday as teachers walked out for the second day demanding a pay increase and school funding.
In Arizona on the first day walk out about 50,000 teachers, and their supporters marched Thursday through downtown Pheonix and rallied around the Capitol.
*Giant* crowd of protesting teachers in Phoenix, AZ. pic.twitter.com/5YSmGuX2Ft
— Evan McMurry (@evanmcmurry) April 26, 2018
In Colorado, thousands of teachers rallied around the Capitol, on their personal time attending the two-day protest drew about 10,000 demonstrators.
Colorado lawmakers agreed since the Great Recession to increase the biggest budget education, but teachers say they have a long recovery of lost ground on stricter tax and funding limits.
Arizona’s Republican governor, Doug Ducey proposed 20 percent raises by 2020, but he said no plans to meet with striking teachers or other demands.
On KTAR radio Ducey said:
“We’re going to get this 20 percent pay increase, we’re going to get $100 million for support staff and other needs, and then if there’s still a teacher strike I don’t think that will make sense to parents, I don’t think that will make sense to kids.”
According to figures from The Arizona Republic results from Thursday walkouts more than 840,000 students were out of school.
Most schools in Arizona will be closed for the rest of the week, and about half of all Colorado students will see their schools shut down over two days as teachers take up the Arizona movement’s #RedforEd.
Organizers say they haven’t decided how long their walkout will last.
Derek Harris, one of the organizers of grass-roots group Arizona Educators United said:
“We want to make sure we can gauge the membership about what they want to do.”
The Arizona and Colorado strikes come just weeks after massive walkouts in West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Kentucky. The West Virginia strike was the longest in state history, lasting nine days before lawmakers approved a pay raise.
Check out the video of the walkout protest below.
Video and image from ABC15 Arizona on YouTube.