By Kyle James  |  04-26-2018   News
Photo credit: @NEAToday | Twitter

Hundreds of teachers wearing red shirts gathered at the Arizona Capitol Thursday for the state's first statewide walkout strike. The teachers rallied to protest wages and education funding but as a result of the strike scores of classes were canceled. The idea for the protest started in other parts of the country and began spreading west recently as part of a wider call for better wages and more funding for schools nationwide.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Red4Ed?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Red4Ed</a> teacher walkout march has begun in Arizona, with thousands marching <a href="https://twitter.com/azcentral?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@azcentral</a> <a href="https://t.co/Q5vkN4qryD">pic.twitter.com/Q5vkN4qryD</a></p>&mdash; Ricardo Cano (@Ricardo_Cano1) <a href="https://twitter.com/Ricardo_Cano1/status/989562046504038400?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 26, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Related coverage: <a href="https://thegoldwater.com/news/23667-Kansas-GOP-Kris-Kobach-Students-Should-Study-the-Second-Amendment-Instead-of-Walking-Out">Kansas GOP Kris Kobach: Students Should Study the Second Amendment Instead of Walking Out</a>

The protesting teachers carried red balloons and waved signs in the tens of thousands while they headed through downtown Phoenix to the Capitol. The strike demands include a 20% raise for teachers, a pay raise for support staff, and a $1 billion to return school funding to pre-Great Recession levels. Some schools have even been forced to shut down completely as a result of the protests which are even underway as far as Colorado.

Educators in both states are demanding more resources in the classroom and in some cases have received offers for increased funding or raises but teachers say the efforts are not enough. The Phoenix protests are carrying out a 2-mile trek to the Capital with signs that say, "Money for Schools" and "Make Schools Great Again". The temperature in Arizona is already 100 degrees but young women with babies took the trek along with retired teachers to support the teachers protesting. Many walked with water jugs and umbrellas to better deal with the heat.

Related coverage: <a href="https://thegoldwater.com/news/22049-Pro-Second-Amendment-Students-in-FL-Organize-Protests-to-Defend-Constitution-MSM-Silent">Pro-Second Amendment Students in FL Organize Protests to Defend Constitution- MSM Silent</a>

Over 10,000 educators did the same at the Colorado Capitol, many on their own time. "Education is our right," they chanted and "We're not gonna take it anymore". Passersby honked their horns in support of the protests while over half of all students in Colorado will enjoy the next two days off from school because of the strike.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">here’s what the teacher walkout looks like in the small border town of san luis, arizona (the statue is of cesar chávez) <a href="https://t.co/c6LN1Mj254">pic.twitter.com/c6LN1Mj254</a></p>&mdash; Antonia Noori Farzan (@antoniafarzan) <a href="https://twitter.com/antoniafarzan/status/989523523335929856?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 26, 2018</a></blockquote>

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So far lawmakers have agreed to the largest budget increase since the Great Recession but teachers in Colorado say the state has a long way to go toward recovering lost ground due to strict tax and spending limits. In addition to the school closures in Colorado, around 840,000 Arizona students are out of school Thursday. The massive walkout has led to at least 100 school districts closing out of the 200 districts the state Department of Education said it has.

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Source: https://www.apnews.com/89a24152327845d1876822a02640d4ca/Thousands-of-teachers-in-Arizona,-Colorado-to-protest

Twitter: #RedforEd #Arizona #Colorado #School #Teacher #Walkout #Strike
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