NPQ: Across the U.S., teachers march for school funding

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Nonprofit Quarterly reported that teacher strikes, in West Virginia and Kentucky, to Oklahoma, and now Colorado and Arizona, have educators swarming state capitals to say “enough.” Enough with salaries that start low and stay there; enough with leaky ceilings and outdated textbooks; enough with classrooms that contain more students and fewer resources every year.

Teacher salaries and school funding have seen drastic cuts. According to data released by the Arizona School Personnel Administrators Association and ASU’s Morrison Institute, Arizona has a billion-dollar school funding deficit.

The movements in Arizona and Colorado, like their predecessors in other states, are about fiscal policy that has been eating away at education funding for decades, especially since the Great Recession in 2008. Teachers are fighting to restore the idea that quality schools don’t come cheap.

In Arizona, 50,000 teachers marched on the capitol, affecting about 1.3 million students. Some took personal days, and some districts closed so teachers could march. Arizona’s is a wildcat strike, or one not authorized by the union because it violates collective bargaining rules, but the Arizona Education Association has been supportive of the movement, known as RedForEd.

READ: The Surprising Viral Success of RedForEd in Defending Public Education