In a show of solidarity before the teacher walkout starts today, the community of Maricopa County lined up with educators along Baseline Road from Apache Junction to Laveen from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. to show the Governor and the Republican-led State Legislature that the fight to achieve fair compensation for their children’s instructors and support staff, restore full funding for their child’s schools, and modernizing their children’s schools has the support of the majority of the people.
Groups of parents, students, and educators from schools across the valley lined up on Baseline Road, mostly wearing red shirts. Some carried signs calling for fully funding our schools which are still funded at below 2008 levels. Walking along the road on McClintock and Baseline and the 101 and Baseline, you can hear the stream of cars honking support to the people lining up on the sidewalks.
Talking with a couple of instructors from a Mesa Elementary School, they relayed that they are willing to keep the walkout going as long as leadership in the Arizona Education Association (A.E.A) and Arizona Educators United (A.E.U.).When asked if they saw this walkout lasting as long as the ones in West Virginia and Oklahoma, they did not know. They said they will continue the fight on Thursday by gathering with fellow educators and supporters at CHASE field at 10:00 a.m. today and then march for a rally to the state capital at 12:00 p.m.
It is important for all sides to meet together and solve this situation for the children of this state who deserve a Twenty-First Education in safe school buildings that are overseen by respected and properly compensated instructors and support staff. Remarks by lawmakers calling for lawsuits against the teachers or accusing the Red for Ed leaders socialists trying to lead a revolution are not helpful. There are ideas on the table that can be negotiated. Instead of trying to make our teachers look like radical insurgents, our Governor should be reaching out to bring all representatives to the table so this can be resolved just in time for students to start class again on Monday.