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Valley 'Red for Ed' supporters not giving up their fight

Red for Ed march
Posted at 10:36 PM, May 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-09 01:55:00-04

PHOENIX — Dozens of Valley teachers marched along busy roads Wednesday, highlighting issues they say most educators still see in their classrooms.

The Red for Ed movement gained momentum in 2018 after teachers walked out for more than a week to demand lawmakers take action and better fund education in Arizona.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed 20x2020- a bill meant to give teachers a 20% raise by 2020 and better fund "support staff, new textbooks, upgraded technology and infrastructure."

Today, teachers say many promises made last year have already been broken.

"Kids are the ones who are really suffering," said teacher Alexis Aguirre. "Our students haven’t seen a change in the classroom. Classrooms are still packed to the brim. We have the worst counselor to student ratio, we don’t have money for supplies. If we’re lucky we get $200 for the entire school year.”

Aguirre says most educators have continued the fight on their own, going to meetings at the capital after school and reaching out to state leaders, but feel legislators aren't paying attention.

“We worry that because it’s not an election year it’s not at the top of peoples minds, especially lawmakers," Aguirre said. “We don’t have bus drivers, teachers are quitting their jobs, we have 30 to 35 students in a classroom, it’s unacceptable."

Organizers say they’re still deciding whether or not they’ll plan walkouts this year. Educators say they’d like to see what the final budget shows, but call it a last resort if other efforts don’t incite further change.