Striking Arizona Teachers Win a 20% Raise, But It’s Not a Complete Victory
Teachers across Arizona will return to school on Friday, six days after beginning their statewide strike.
The end to the strike follows the signing of new legislation by Gov. Doug Ducey that addresses some, but not all, of their demands. The state House and Senate “pulled an all-nighter” to get the bill to his desk, according to The Hill.
The measure will give teachers a 20% raise by 2020 and provide an additional $371 to education funding over the next five years, restoring in part the funding cut during the recession.
Nevertheless, the legislation did not include provisions for pay increases for other support staff such as librarians and counselors, nor does the increased funding reach the requested $1 billion.
Ralph Quintana, president of the Arizona American Federation of Teachers, told The Wall Street Journal that “even though the economy has recovered, they’re refusing to give us the restoration of our yearly funding. It’s a step in the right direction, but it’s not going to fix the problem.”
At the peak of the strike, more than 1,000 schools were closed, affecting more than 850,000 students.