Arizona teachers hold vigil outside state capital as strike continues

Arizona teachers on Wednesday gathered outside of the state capitol in Phoenix and held a candlelight vigil as the state's teachers strike continued. 

The vigil took place as state lawmakers debated a budget blueprint that would raise teacher's pay, but does not address the strikers' other demands. 


Schools throughout Arizona have been shut down this week amid the walkout.

Teachers are protesting low pay and low funding for the state's school systems and demanding an additional $1 billion for school funding as well as pay raises for support staff.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) offered organizers a 20 percent pay increase for state teachers by 2020, but teachers participating in the walkout have said it is not enough. 

The strikes in Arizona come as similar protests take place in Colorado and follow similar demonstrations in West Virginia, Oklahoma and Kentucky. 

The strike in West Virginia lasted a total of nine days and resulted in lawmakers approving a pay raise and a committee to improve health care benefits.