Teachers rallying for better pay and adequate funding of schools draw public support

Thousands of teachers in Arizona and Colorado are rallying Thursday at their state capitols for more education funding. The Arizona American Federation of Teachers released a realistic plan to restore the more than $1.5 billion in education funding cuts since 2008 and create a continuous revenue stream for funding public schools and much-needed pay raises for teachers and other school staff. Meanwhile, in Colorado, teachers are using personal days to attend rallies, since the state Senate passed a bill threatening to jail teachers who strike. The public supports these teacher actions: NPR/Ipsos has released a poll​ showing that only one in four people believe that teachers are fairly paid, and two-thirds approve of national teacher unions.

That poll result comes on the heels of another poll, by the Associated Press/NORC​​, finding ​that the overwhelming majority of Americans believe teachers are underpaid, while half say they’d be willing to pay higher taxes to give them a raise. Furthermore, a 52-percent majority of those surveyed approved of teachers leaving the classroom to protest low pay.

Texas AFT is co-sponsoring a rally in Houston on Saturday, May 19.You can find all the details here.