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Teachers line Broadway ahead of walk-out

Posted: 4:12 PM, Apr 25, 2018
Updated: 2018-04-26 05:13:46Z

Many Tucson teachers and educators lined Broadway Blvd., showing their support for the #Red4Ed movement on Wednesday afternoon, the day before the statewide walk-out begins.

They filled up major intersections, from Broadway and Houghton to downtown Tucson, wearing red and waving signs.

This is the first time that educators and labor organizations have united to improve the funding for education system in Arizona, said Peter Herran, AFSCME Local 449 Chairman.

John Moritz is a teacher who was at the demonstration. He says lawmakers need to know that they are fighting for more than just teacher pay. Alongside other educators, he says they want to restore and increase funding in the Arizona education system.

"Our schools, they already are, at a critical state. They've got to do something about it," Moritz said. "I hope that they're going to return funding to the same level that it was at in 2008. To me, that will be great just alone, and a permanent funding source for education."

Cindy Graybill is a bus driver. She says Governor Ducey's 20 by 2020 plan won't fix the problems the schools are facing. She'd like to see support staff get a pay raise, as well as improve the resources and equipment educators need for their students.

"We're the supporting staff for the teachers," she said. "We need to be recognized too."

Some people who are upset about the walk-out say the teachers and educators are doing their students a disservice by not being in the classrooms. Moritz says it's unfortunate that school districts across the state have to close their schools for some time, but feels this is the only way lawmakers will hear their message.

"Will they listen if we said suddenly over the summer, oh we're going to walk out. It'll make no statement at all," Moritz said. "This is the only way we can get our message across."