On Thursday, after thousands of Oklahoma teachers flooded the capitol to demand more school funding for nearly two weeks, union leader Alicia Priest called for an end to the teacher walkout, conceding to reporters on Thursday night that the teachers' demands wouldn't be satisfied after seeing "no significant legislative movement" since the walkout began.
Earlier this week, the grassroots organization Arizona Educators United told their Facebook members to prepare for a possible walk-out that would close schools.
Earlier on Thursday, House Speaker J.D. Mesnard rolled out a proposal to boost teacher pay by 6 percent next year and 24 percent over the next six years.
Ducey's plan pretty much fulfills the teachers' main demand of a 20 percent pay raise, albeit in a belated and vague way. According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, Arizona elementary teachers earned a median wage of $43,280 in 2017 and high school teachers $46,470, the 3rd and 6th lowest in the nation, respectively.
In addition, Ducey stated more dollars are available for teachers and schools due to the reduction of state government operated budgets through strategic efficiencies, caseload savings and a rollback of some of the governor's office proposals included in fiscal-year 2019 executive budget.
Mesnard's plan takes money away from capital improvements - like new books, buses, building maintenance - to fund teacher salaries. "The winners today are the teachers of Arizona".
"It feels to me that this was essentially an attempt to stop whatever actions we may have been taking instead of a legitimate groundwork for a legitimate investment in education", he said in the video.
Larry Frederick, a music teacher at Lincoln, said he helped organize the walk-in "to raise awareness of the needs for education and raise support for public education in Arizona".
Thomas said Ducey's announcement "doesn't happen without the #RedForEd movement and without teachers finding their voice". The Governor's proposal calls for a 9 percent increase in teacher salary next year, and then a total increase of 20 percent by 2020. What is going on?
The moves comes amid a wave of teachers strikes over pay and education budgets in states including West Virginia, Arizona, Kentucky and Oklahoma.
Rodriguez, who said she makes around $30,000 in her third year of teaching, also wants to see more funding for supplies, which teachers often have to buy or share. "He saw the #RedforEd movement; he heard what we had to say". "I think we shocked the system with what we did on Wednesday morning across the state and what we've been doing for weeks".
"We put out there a way to make sure that money that we have that we want to allocate in the coming years specifically goes to teachers", Mesnard said.
"There's a part of me that suspects, what's the catch?"
To start, the governor's FY2019 teacher pay increase will be boosted to nine percent.
"I am confident that the Governor and the Legislature will reach a positive outcome for teachers and Arizonans". But he said teacher pay is a local problem.
May said it is not enough.