Tag Archives: protest rally

Red-State Teacher Rebellion This Week

Oklahoma and Kentucky teachers are walking off the job Monday and holding rallies at their state capitols to pressure lawmakers. Oklahoma and Kentucky teachers plan to walk out in what could be huge rallies:

Inspired by the West Virginia strike in which teachers demanded and got a pay raise from state leaders, a wave of other states, including Oklahoma, Kentucky and Arizona, are taking similar action.

Educators are organizing and publicly pressuring state lawmakers over issues such as education funding, teacher salaries and pension reform.

Teachers in Oklahoma are rallying for more education funding and salaries, and those in Kentucky will be marching over a controversial pension bill and the state budget.

Arizona’s #RedForEd will be back at the state capitol on Wednesday. Arizona’s education funding shortages are the direct result of annual GOP tax cuts since 1992 that produced a structural revenue deficit. Why is Arizona teacher pay so low? Blame those tax cuts

Media coverage of possible teacher strikes in Arizona and Oklahoma, following one in West Virginia, has often overlooked an important contributing factor in those states: Excessive state tax cuts that have shrunk state revenues and thereby made it harder for states to devote adequate resources to education.

Reductions in state education funding largely due to tax cuts have limited pay and other resources for teachers.

And both Arizona and Oklahoma have supermajority requirements to raise revenue — the “Two-Thirds for Taxes Amendment,” Prop. 108 (1992) in Arizona — which tend to lock in tax cuts once they’ve been enacted and make it difficult for these states to address shortfalls in education funding.

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The red-state teacher rebellions are spreading

I posted about the Oklahoma teacher walkout scheduled for Monday. Oklahoma teachers to strike on Monday; Arizona teachers are considering a strike.

The red-state teacher rebellions are spreading. (h/t Axios.com for the caption). Kentucky teachers skip work after lawmakers pass pension reform attached to sewage bill:

The proposed changes to pension reform had been a part of Senate Bill 1. But in a surprise move, elements of Senate Bill 1 were tucked into another bill, Senate Bill 151, which had been about sewage services. The new, nearly 300-page Senate Bill 151 then passed both the state House and Senate.

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin supports the bill and tweeted Thursday night that public workers owe “a deep debt of gratitude” to the lawmakers who voted in favor.

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Kentucky’s Attorney General Andy Beshear, a Democrat tweeted: “This is government at its worst.” This morning, he announced he would “will file suit to stop SB 151.”

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In Kentucky, teachers have not fought for a pay raise but loudly called on the Legislature not to touch their retirement benefits. The response to passage of the pension bill was swift.

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#RedForEd Rally gets their attention, AZ Lege to consider Prop. 301 extension Today

Wednesdays are now #RedForEd days at the Arizona capitol as long as the legislature is in session. Supporters of education and our teachers should wear red on Wednesdays in a demonstration of unity and support.

Protesters on Wednesday included dozens of teachers from nine schools in west Phoenix and Glendale who called in sick in the first job action teachers have called since organizing earlier this month. The teacher sick-out is the first action of this kind stemming from the statewide #RedForEd movement among educators. The sick-out has spurred social-media discussion among teachers in other school districts about taking similar action.

At the Capitol, hundreds of teachers and educational staff wore red to a rally organized by the Arizona Education Association. Sea of red engulfs Capitol as teachers protest:

“Gov. Doug Ducey needs to prepare himself … because I think this is only the first ripple effect,” said Kassandra Dominguez, a first-grade teacher at the K-8 Sunset Ridge Elementary who led the sick-out. “It’s going to keep happening.”

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“Teachers are tired of not receiving the funds that we need in our classrooms and in our pockets,” Dominguez told a group of educators outside the Capitol. “We have teachers eating ramen noodles for dinner. We’re out of college and still eating ramen.”

Dominguez said she welcomes Ducey to buy her a cup of coffee, because she can’t afford it, and talk to her about what’s going on in the classroom. She said she spends more than $1,000 a year out of her own pocket on supplies for her classroom.

“At the end of the day, which is something that the senators in there don’t see and Governor Ducey doesn’t see, the kids are paying for it,” she said. “I think the bigger picture here is that they forget that a teacher educated them.”

Immediately after, the group began marching around the Capitol, chanting “Red for Ed!”

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Governor Ducey bends under pressure from student protestors

Wednesday’s National School Walkout event at the Arizona Capitol culminated in a two-hour sit-in at the office of Gov. Doug Ducey, who did not come out to meet with the students. Montini: Gov. Doug Ducey disses student protesters … lesson learned.

Gov. Ducey has said he is meeting with various interest groups – not high school students, obviously – and has promised to come up with his own legislative proposals, possibly as early as next week. The governor has hinted that could include something similar to Rep. Randy Friese’s bill on emergency seizure of weapons.

Emulating our Twitter-troll-in-chief, on Thursday Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey goes on tweetstorm over gun control, one day after student sit-in:

Gov. Doug Ducey said Thursday that his plan to improve school safety in Arizona could include tighter gun laws in several areas, a surprising move for a Republican governor in a red state.

In a flurry of afternoon tweets, Ducey outlined what his office said will be the basic components of his plan. Ducey said he is working on a bipartisan bill to tackle the issue.

“We are building an aggressive plan that address all these issues around school safety,” he tweeted. “Arizona can lead the nation in tackling this — and in a way that is non-partisan. We’ve done this on other issues, and we can do it again.”

Ducey’s posts came less than 24 hours after students from the group March for Our Lives Phoenix staged a dramatic sit-in outside his office.

Ducey did not meet with the students, but has talked with other interest groups in recent weeks.

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National School Walkout today at 10:00 a.m.

Today at 10:00 a.m., students across Arizona will walkout of their classrooms for a 17 minute vigil in remembrance of the 17 victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Philip Boas of The Republic writes, Why every adult should support students’ March 14 walkout:

If you believe young people shouldn’t be walking out of their classrooms on Wednesday to protest gun violence in America, if you believe this is a waste of precious classroom time and only encourages chaos and defiance …

you are wrong.

The kids are right.

These young people are citizens of this country, and every citizen has the right to commit acts of civil disobedience in the face of great wrongs.

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Wednesday walkout warmup for the March For Our Lives

As schools around the country brace for student walkouts following the deadly shooting in Parkland, Florida, with the first large-scale coordinated national demonstration planned for this Wednesday when organizers of the Women’s March have called for a 17-minute walkout, one minute for each of the 17 students and staff members killed in Florida, “principals and superintendents are scrambling to perform a delicate balancing act: How to let thousands of students exercise their First Amendment rights while not disrupting school and not pulling administrators into the raging debate over gun control.” Student walkouts over guns pose balancing act for schools:

National demonstrations are also planned for March 24, with a march on Washington, D.C.; and on April 20, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre in Colorado.

See earlier post, March For Our Lives in Washington, D.C. and around the nation (Updated with additional protests).

Some have taken a hard line, promising to suspend students who walk out, while others are using a softer approach, working with students to set up places on campus where they can remember the victims of the Florida shooting and express their views about school safety and gun control.

Since the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, demonstrations have sprung up on school campuses around the country.

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