Arizona teachers have voted overwhelmingly to walk out in response to state budget cuts over many years. Here is news from Linda Lyon, president of the Arizona School Boards Association. 

Arizona, like West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Kentucky, is a “right to work” state.

Here is the press release from the Arizona Education Association.

“Today, the Arizona Education Association (AEA) and Arizona Educators United (AEU) announced in front of AEA headquarters, that 78 percent of 57,000 Arizona educators voted to walk out of Arizona’s schools – citing 10 years of drastically underfunded schools resulting in overcrowded classrooms, crumbling infrastructure, and low wages for educators. Facebook video | YouTube video

“After years of starving our schools, some classes are stuffed with kids, while others sit empty because there isn’t a teacher to teach,” says AEU organizer and Littleton elementary music teacher Noah Karvelis. “The #RedforEd movement has provided educators the opportunity to voice what action they want to take in an historic statewide vote.”

“This vote was not an easy decision for educators,” says AEA Vice President and Isaac Middle School teacher Marisol Garcia. “As I turned in my ballot today, I thought about my son, my colleagues, and my students. By voting today, I am standing up for my son and all students in Arizona and the public schools they deserve.”

“We’re using textbooks from the 1990s because there’s no money for books. That’s just one of the reasons we’re fighting to make Arizona’s kids, schools and educators a higher priority in the governor’s office,” says AEA President and Mesa government teacher Joe Thomas.

“As educators, the students are at the center of everything we do. Every student deserves a chance at a quality education, and access to services like nutrition, health, and after school programs.

“The decision to walk out also comes on the heels of weeks of #RedforEd walk-ins and a disingenuous budget proposal from the governor that claimed a raise that excluded support professionals like counselors, bus drivers and cafeteria workers – and was not supported by actual funding.

“Education isn’t just a job, it’s a calling. That’s why we’re walking out,” said Noah.”