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.