Arizona teachers are protesting some of the lowest pay in the nation. Some marched on the capitol and many others are wearing red as a sign of solidarity. KNAU’s Justin Regan reports.
The protest is the result of a Facebook page created last weekend called Arizona Teacher’s United. It’s an awareness campaign about low teacher pay. The more than 7,000 followers were encouraged to wear red in support of better salaries. The group drew inspiration from educators in West Virginia who received a pay raise after a state-wide strike.
"It’s in support of education," says Megan Courtney, a teacher at Williams High School. "It’s in support of the teachers that give a lot of their time and their energy to education. The teachers even if they are getting paid a third of other states they’re still putting the same effort and energy and love towards their students."
A recent study by Arizona State University found, after cost of living is factored in, Arizona is at the bottom in the nation for teacher pay. The report also shows a shortage of K-12 educators in the state. Governor Doug Ducey recently proposed a 1 percent pay increase in his budget, the same as last year’s. But many protestors say that’s not enough.