Education Week - April 25, 2018 - 7
By Madeline Will
Teachers across the state of Arizona will
walk out on Thursday in the first-ever statewide strike to press for higher salaries and
The walkout is set for April 26, following three
days of school "walk-ins" this week. Walk-ins are
meant to be a nondisruptive way for parents and
community members to join educators before or
after school hours to show their support.
There were about 57,000 votes cast by
school employees across the state, and 78 percent voted yes to the strike.
The announcement was made by both Arizona Education Association officials and organizers of the teacher-led Facebook group Arizona Educators United, which has about 45,000
members. Social media has been a driving force
for this wave of teacher activism in Arizona.
"This is undeniably and clearly a mandate
for action," said Joe Thomas, the president of
the state teachers' union.
He added that educators were demanding action-more school funding and a teacher pay
raise-from the state legislature and the governor. Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican, has said he
will urge the state legislature to pass a 20 percent pay raise for teachers. But many educators
have remained skeptical of the plan, questioning
where the money will come from. The state's Parent Teacher Association has pulled its support
from Ducey's plan, calling it financially unsustainable. However, the Arizona School Boards
Association and the Association of School Business Officials still support the plan.
In a series of tweets, Ducey said he was committed to making sure the teacher pay raise
passed the legislature.
"No one wants to see teachers strike," he
said. "If schools shut down, our kids are the
ones who lose out."
Noah Karvelis, a music teacher and an organizer of Arizona Educators United, told reporters that he didn't want to put any limitations
on how long the walkout would last.
"We're truly in a state of crisis right now,"
he said, referencing "crumbling public school
infrastructure," broken desks, and outdated
The voting took place over three days, after
a series of peaceful demonstrations and electrifying protests calling for better pay and
more school funding. Arizona teachers, on
average, make about $48,000 a year-about
$10,000 less than the national average.
Teachers in Oklahoma recently concluded
a nine-day walkout, as did West Virginia
Arizona Teachers Set to Strike
Over School Funding and Pay
Teacher Jennifer Galluzzo casts her ballot outside Paseo Verde Elementary School last week in Peoria,
Ariz. Teachers throughout the state voted to strike for higher salaries and education funding.
teachers last month. West Virginia teachers
received a $5,000 pay raise after their strike.
Oklahoma's walkout ended on a more mixed
note: Teachers received a $6,100 pay raise
and some additional funding for schools, but
legislators refused to bend to the teachers'
demands in full.
In Arizona, striking is illegal for teachers,
according to a 1971 opinion by the state's attorney general at the time. Teachers could be
fired or have their teaching licenses revoked.
But according to the Arizona Daily Star, the
superintendent of the Tucson Unified district-the largest in the state-said teachers
won't lose their jobs if they strike.
"This is not a confrontation," Gabriel Trujillo
told reporters. "The #RedForEd movement and
our teachers have been wonderful. They've exhibited great leadership in this movement, and
certainly we don't view any of their actions as
anti-Tucson Unified School District."
Visit the TEACHER BEAT blog, which tracks news
and trends on this issue. www.edweek.org/blogs
By Corey Mitchell
More than two months after the
Valentine's Day mass killing of 17
students and educators at Marjory
Stoneman Douglas High School in
Parkland, Fla., fear and rage continues to grip a school system still reeling
from the incident's aftermath.
During a public-safety forum
last week in the Broward County
school district that brought hundreds of participants, shaken students and enraged parents and educators appealed to school leaders
to protect campuses from violence.
They demanded fixes for what they
consider lax security, the district's
indifference, and a failure to act
to stop the former student who
brought an AR-15 assault rifle onto
campus, where dozens were killed
Discipline Program Questioned
But many of those who spoke out
had vastly different solutions for what
should be done, turning the often emotional forum into a microcosm of the
polarizing national debate on gun
regulations, school security provisions,
and mental-health services designed
to prevent mass shootings.
Still, a number of those who
addressed school leaders in the
257,000-student district did share a
common concern: A program designed
to help troubled students avoid arrests and referrals to law enforcement.
The diversionary program, called
PROMISE, set up by the district
as part of a 2013 agreement with
law-enforcement agencies to clarify
when to involve officers in student
discipline, came under fire along
with the district's behavior-intervention program for students who
return to district alternative school
campuses after committing crimes.
While two former students stood to
speak about the program's benefits,
many parents and educators argued
that PROMISE, and other district
programs, have created a pipeline for
troubled students to re-enter schools
often without proper intervention
from law enforcement or mentalhealth services.
Broward County Superintendent
Robert Runcie pushed back against
criticism of the district's discipline
plan, which has become a major
focus of debate in Washington as
the Trump administration weighs
whether it will revise or revoke
Obama-era rules on school discipline.
That guidance-jointly issued by
the U.S. Departments of Education
and Justice-warned schools that
they may violate federal civil rights
laws if they enforce intentionally
discriminatory rules or if their
policies lead to disproportionately
higher rates of discipline for students in one racial group, even if
those policies were written without
Runcie told those in the audience
that there was much misinformation circulating about the PROMISE
program. Runcie plans to address
questions about the program during
a May 7 public forum.
During last week's forum, district
leaders provided information and
Jim Rassol/South Florida Sun-Sentinel/AP
Parents Lash Out at
District Over Shooting
updates regarding school safety
measures, state funding, counseling and support services for students and employees, and how the
district plans to spend funds from
a 2014 school board referendum to
upgrade school security.
But students, parents, and teachers argued that the steps taken now
have come too little, too late, and that
they still don't feel safe.
From a Stoneman Douglas student who said his school-now
subject to extra law-enforcement
presence and security measures-
feels like a prison to a student who
said she bypassed those security
checks, dozens of people with ties
to the school shared stories of how
the shooting has shattered their
innocence and sense of security.
The meeting marked the first of
several forums the district plans to
host as it looks to gather community
feedback and suggestions on how to
secure its schools and help students
and families feel safe again.
Parents, teachers, and students
stand in line to ask questions of
Broward County school officials
during a safety meeting held last
week in Plantation, Fla.
'Understanding and Grace'
struggled in the aftermath of that
incident without counseling.
He acknowledged that, in a rush to
protect the students still at Stoneman Douglas, the district didn't attend to the needs of families who
either lost loves ones or had loved
ones suffer serious injuries in the
Responding to dozens of questions,
Runcie asked for "understanding
and grace" as the district continues to search for solutions and responses to the shooting.
Runcie told audience members
that safety begins with a focus on
the well-being of students, families, and employees and how survivors from similar incidents at
Columbine High and Sandy Hook
Elementary schools have lent support to Broward County.
The superintendent disclosed a
personal and painful story of how
his mother was shot in a hate crime
when he was 8 years old and how he
EDUCATION WEEK | April 25, 2018 | www.edweek.org | 7
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - April 25, 2018
Education Week - April 25, 2018
Facing Hard Facts on College and Career
School Choice Proves Scarce in ESSA Plans
After a Shooting in Her Classroom, Teacher Re-evaluates School Safety
Pension Woes Have Teachers On Front Lines
News in Brief
Discipline Gaps—and Ways to Close Them —Get Scrutiny
Parents Lash Out at District Over Shooting
Arizona Teachers Set to Strike Over School Funding and Pay
Schools With Confederate Ties Slowly Shed Their Names
U.S. Students Surprise on New Exam Of Online Reading
NAEP: Gaps Widen Between High Fliers And Low Scorers
Ed. Dept. Policing ESSA Assessment Rule On Special Education
Federal Special Ed. Chief Aims to Foster Partnership
School Shootings Reverberate On Capitol Hill
Ian Rowe: What NAEP Scores Aren’t Telling Us
In Conversation John Urschel: From the NFL to MIT
Rebecca Kolins Givan & Pamela Whitefield: Teacher Pay Isn’t the Whole Story
Thomas Toch: 35 Years After ‘A Nation at Risk,’ Education Is Still Going in the Wrong Direction
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - Pension Woes Have Teachers On Front Lines
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - 2
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - Contents
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - Report Roundup
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - 5
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - Discipline Gaps—and Ways to Close Them —Get Scrutiny
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - Arizona Teachers Set to Strike Over School Funding and Pay
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - Schools With Confederate Ties Slowly Shed Their Names
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - 9
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - 10
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - 11
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - U.S. Students Surprise on New Exam Of Online Reading
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - NAEP: Gaps Widen Between High Fliers And Low Scorers
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - 14
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - 15
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - 16
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - Federal Special Ed. Chief Aims to Foster Partnership
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - School Shootings Reverberate On Capitol Hill
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - 19
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - 20
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - 21
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - In Conversation John Urschel: From the NFL to MIT
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - Rebecca Kolins Givan & Pamela Whitefield: Teacher Pay Isn’t the Whole Story
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - 24
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - 25
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - 26
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - 27
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - Letters
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - CW1
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - CW2
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - CW3
Education Week - April 25, 2018 - CW4