Teachers in Arizona and Colorado turned their state Capitols into a sea of red Thursday as they kicked off widespread walkouts that shut down public schools in a bid for better pay and education funding, building on educator revolt that emerged elsewhere in the U.S. but whose political prospects were not clear.
Tens of thousands of teachers wearing red shirts and holding “Money for Schools” signs launched the first-ever statewide strike by marching 2 miles in 90-degree heat to a rally at the Arizona Capitol. They plan to walk out again Friday to press lawmakers for their demands as will Colorado educators
Educators in both states want more classroom resources and have received offers either for increased school funding or pay, but they say the money isn’t guaranteed and the efforts don’t go far enough. The walkouts are the climax of an uprising that spread from West Virginia, Oklahoma and Kentucky.
Most of Arizona’s public schools will be closed the rest of the week, and about half of all Colorado students will see their schools shuttered over the two days as teachers take up the Arizona movement’s #RedforEd mantle.