Published: Mon, April 30, 2018

Jeffco teachers take to the Capitol in hopes of better education funding

Jeffco teachers take to the Capitol in hopes of better education funding

Almost 800 teachers in Durham have requested personal leave on May 16 to travel to the state legislature to call for higher school funding, pay raises, and reductions in class size, local NBC affiliate WRAL reported Thursday. Hansen argues that North Carolina and SC, like other red states controlled by Republican legislatures, might also see teacher walkouts unless funding and pay improve. Experiences from the West Virginia strike and past copper mine battles clearly weighed in. Former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) cut income taxes and increased corporate tax breaks, leading state revenue to drop dramatically. The initiative, called the Invest In Education Act, would raise the income tax rate by 3.46 percent on individuals making more than $250,000 or household incomes higher than $500,000.

Teacher Elisabeth Milich has had supplies and funds sent from NY and London. Forty percent would be added for all-day kindergarten and other uses.

Backers have an uphill fight just to get the measure on the November ballot. And Thomas said nothing the governor is offering deal with other demands, like restoring the cuts that have been made in state funding to education that now leaves per-student funding in Arizona below where it was a decade ago, even before inflation is taken into account. As Will, an Arizona special education teacher, told World Socialist Web Site reporters: "The Democrats are even worse than the Republicans".

Ducey, a Republican, encouraged students' parents to call their lawmakers to ask them to vote yes on the proposal. Ducey said on Wednesday that he won't offer the educators anything more, according to the Arizona Daily Star.

Teacher Tiffany White said a major point of contention with Ducey's plan is that it will take money from programs for veterans and the developmentally disabled. "From there, the educators will decide what comes next".

Matthew Specht, spokesman for the Republican Caucus at the Arizona House of Representatives, said in an email that House leadership was at the Capitol "continuing to negotiate the budget", but that there was no scheduled activity on the House floor. The improvement he's talking about is Arizona's scores on the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress ( NAEP) test, which went up while most other states stayed flat. The Arizona State Legislature does, so he would have to rely on legislators to pass his pay increase or his whole plan is moot.

"School districts and public school supporters end up begging for the leftover money at the end of every legislative session while our dedicated educators are forced to work second jobs and buy school supplies out of their own pockets, " said Kerrie Dallman, president of the Colorado Education Association.

Details of the plan to boost funding weren't immediately released Friday but some kind of tax increase is probable. Leaders said they want to brief their members first.


- Thousands of Arizona teachers and their supporters are marching toward the state Capitol to demand more education funding in a historic statewide strike that's shut down schools. The Capitol space has been reserved for Monday as well.

In an attempt to head off a teacher strike like the ones seen in Oklahoma, West Virginia and Kentucky, on April 12, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey proposed a pay raise for teachers that would amount to roughly a 20 percent increase by 2020.

"I am fed up with living paycheck to paycheck", Rhiannon Wenning teacher at Jefferson Junior/Senior High said while standing on the steps of the capitol building. Aside from desks, she'd either bought most of what was in her classroom, or had it donated - not just books, but also chairs and even a water dispenser, which the class needed during the seven months when the school's drinking fountains were broken.

"I'm nervous", she says.

Many districts decided late last week to close school on either Thursday, April 26 or Friday, April 27.

Known as a "grow your own" program, House Bill 1309 would require school districts to cover the costs for the last 36 hours of college credit for those in teacher programs, with the agreement that the student, once graduated, would teach in a school district for three years.

In Colorado, more than 10,000 teachers are expected to demonstrate in Denver as part of a burgeoning teacher uprising.

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