PHOENIX (AP) – The Latest on Arizona’s statewide teacher walkout (all times local):
Arizona teachers are lining up to meet with state lawmakers on the third day of their statewide teacher walkout.
The educators who convened on the state Capitol hope to meet with lawmakers to discuss why they want increased funding for Arizona public schools.
The state’s Republican-controlled Legislature is working on a budget plan that doesn’t meet most of the teachers’ demands. But it does start giving teachers raises as part of a 20 percent teacher pay raise by 2020, and begins to restore money that can be spent on supplies and capital needs.
Arizona Education Association president Joe Thomas says he believes teachers will be rallying at the Capitol again tomorrow. But there’s no end date for the walkout. Thomas says it depends on what’s in the budget.
Thousands of Arizona teachers are gathering at the state Capitol for the third day to protest low pay and school funding as many schools around the state remained closed.
Monday’s rallies come as the Republican-controlled Legislature is expected to begin work on a budget package negotiated with GOP Gov. Doug Ducey that boosts teacher pay and some funding but falls well short of educators’ demands.
The budget deal gives the first installment of a 20 percent teacher pay raise by 2020 and begins to restore some of the nearly $400 million in recession-era cuts to a fund that helps schools pay for books, school buses and other capital expenses.
Republican House Speaker J.D. Mesnard says he expects that budget legislation will be passed by the end of the week.
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