Teachers across Arizona held “walk-ins” Wednesday to demand higher salaries and more funding for schools, making the state the latest in a number of recent statewide, teacher-led demonstrations.
The demonstrations were held at about 1,000 schools across the state as part of the #RedforEd campaign, according to The Associated Press. Teachers wore red and walked arm-in-arm to call for a 20 percent raise and more than $1 billion in additional education funding.
The walk-ins were organized by the grass-roots group Arizona Educators United. The organization also told teachers to prepare for a possible walk-out, echoing similar strikes in Oklahoma and West Virginia.
Arizona teachers are among the lowest paid in the U.S., according to The Washington Post.
Arizona is ranked 48th for school funding, 49th for teacher to student ratio, and 44th for annual teacher salary (AZ mean is around $47,000, including special ed teachers , while the national average is $58,000). This has to stop. #RedForEd funding #redfored phoenix @AZEdUnited pic.twitter.com/bE4abPYNvA— Riley Ann (@alien_riley) April 11, 2018
Red for Ed with Mountain Sky Junior High teachers and staff!!@arizona_sos pic.twitter.com/tzqsF7kOSx— Larry Herrera (@larryherrer) April 11, 2018
The demonstrations took place as a teachers strike in Oklahoma enters a second week. Educators there are continuing their demands that the state pass more funding for schools.
West Virginia teachers shut down schools for nearly two weeks earlier this year over demands for higher pay.