Oklahoma teacher walkout kindles action in Arizona

Josie Logsdon

Teachers in Arizona have used the Oklahoma teacher walkout to plan their own strategy to advocate for higher education funding.

Teachers in Oklahoma have rallied at the state capitol since April 2 for education funding. They gained support from around the country, especially in states like Arizona where funding for public education is comparatively low.

Arizona is ranked 46th in education funding. Their teachers are coming together to encourage Oklahoma teachers to keep fighting, and to plan efforts of their own.

Facebook profile frame published by Arizona teacher Tammy Jo Dublin.

Teachers in this state started a conversation about taking action to improve funding around a month ago. Their efforts have been gaining momentum after seeing the force of the movement in Oklahoma.

Teresa Smith teaches at Pinnacle High School in Phoenix. She said that watching the teachers in Oklahoma plan the movement and pull together the walkout has turned more conversations into actions in her state.

The #RedForEd movement in Arizona advocates for higher education spending, including teacher salary increase and classroom resources. Educators around the state are getting involved in this growing movement.

“Teachers who don’t volunteer to do anything at school are showing up to these meetings,” said Smith.

Supporters wear red on Wednesdays to show advocacy. Smith said even students are starting to wear red and ask questions about the movement.

“We’re behind you, and we may be walking out next!” said Smith.

While teachers participate in local protests, Smith hopes to see a state-wide plan of action soon.