Red for Ed!


Emma Padelford

One of the biggest things we have seen on the news right now, is all of the teacher protesting. Teachers are tired of the low amount of pay, and the low amount of money and care being invested into their schools, and into the education systems. Hundreds of teachers have participated in walkouts, walk-ins, and a few other ways of protest. States all over the country have devoted a lot of time to this cause. Schools all over the country have said that enough is enough.

  Back in February, public schools across West Virginia participated in about a week long protest, where most of the schools were closed. According to USA Today, 20,000 teachers along with about 10,000 supporting staff members in the state did not attend school. Which left thousands of students nearly a whole week out of school. According to Az Central, the state was on strike for nine school days total. Governor Jim Justice of West Virginia offered the staff of the state’s schools a starting 5% raise in the first year. In the following years to come, Justice has promised more raises.

  Oklahoma is another state that is actively protesting. In fact, hundreds of schools are currently closed because of a protest that is still going on. This past Tuesday, Oklahoma’s teachers gathered at the state Capitol on their seventh day of protesting. According to ABC News, these teachers marched over 100 miles to the Capitol to ask the Oklahoma Legislature to give “$50 million more in funding and to repel a capital gains tax exemption”. The Governor recently approved a $6,100 pay raise for the teachers, however Oklahoma’s teachers are still requesting a $10,000 pay raise over the next three years. Oklahoma protested for a total of nine days.

  Arizona is another state that is getting ready to protest. Teachers in Arizona wear red on Wednesday’s, and have participated in a few protests in support of Red for Ed. This movement is asking for a 20% raise and for $1 billion dollars to be invested into Arizona’s schools. Some of the protesting was taken to the state Capitol. Currently, Governor Doug Ducey stands against the raise, and even goes on to say that the teachers should not expect a pay raise in the future. Even after the Capitol protest, he continued to reject the teacher’s requests and claimed that he was doing everything he could.

  In a few days, Governor Ducey will make a decision regarding pay raises. Teachers have decided that if Ducey did not accept their requests, that they would follow in the footsteps of the other states. Arizona will join in the major protesting, and the schools will be closed.

  The walkout will not be easy. The difficulties that will follow with the teachers, students, and parents will be hard to handle. There aren’t enough substitutes to cover for all of the protesting teachers, which will cause the schools to close. The suspected days of protest will most likely be during AzMERIT testing, which will make things extremely difficult for the school districts. Students and staff will be expected to make up days spent protesting, which would make summer break shorter. The walkouts could also be very inconvenient for parents who work, some parents might struggle with having their children home. Teachers also risk being fired, depending on the length of the protest, and the involvement of their districts. The walkout is not something the teachers want to do, and is not something they would take as a nice vacation. The amount of stress that follows puts a lot of pressure on the schools. One of the most important thing for a teacher is the wellbeing of his or her students. The teachers are not only in it for themselves, they really value the education of their students. Districts are currently planning ways to help their students before, during, and after the possible protest. The details are still being processed between the heads of each district.

  While the protesting presents many issues to arise for Arizona’s schools, it all could be very beneficial. If teachers do succeed, then our state’s educational system will greatly improve. So despite the possible problems that could be brought up, change is needed in our schools. According to US News, Arizona is currently ranked 43rd in education compared to the rest of the country. Arizona can make a change just like in the other protesting states. With more money invested into our education, Arizona could move up in rank.