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Red for Ed organizers confident Election Day will be favorable for movement

Posted at 7:25 PM, Oct 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-30 22:26:10-04

While you might have seen fewer red shirts, organizers say the Red for Ed movement is far from over. 

"You don't fight for better schools for your students and ever give up," said Joe Thomas, the Arizona Education Association President. 

Thomas sat down with ABC15 on Tuesday to discuss the status of the Red for Ed movement. 

"I don't think this is going to do anything except grow," Thomas said. "There's going to be increased accountability and pressure on legislators."

Earlier this year, thousands of teachers walked out of classrooms and marched on the state capitol, only returning to their schools when the legislature passed a budget designed to give teachers a raise. 

However, organizers sought more funding for Arizona schools and started InvestInEd, a tax initiative.

In August, the Arizona Supreme Court barred the ballot proposal seeking to raise income taxes on the wealthy to fund schools from appearing on the November ballot. The issue centered around language the court found could be confusing to voters. 

"There have been a lot of challenges along the way," Thomas said. "Remember this is ten years...waiting for the legislature to act."

Thomas told ABC15 the focus now is on supporting candidates for the state legislature they deem as pro-education. 

"We're looking at the Senate; we're looking at the House, we need to pick up a chamber," he said. "And we're looking at the governor. That still can happen."

While Thomas says he is confident Election Day will prove favorable to the Red for Ed movement, he says the movement will adjust, not disappear, if they don't make the gains they are hoping for in the state legislature. 

"I think there's going to be a new level of accountability in the coming years," Thomas said.