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Arizona teachers still protesting but not striking over pay, other issues

Arizona teachers and education advocates march in front of the Arizona Capitol highlighting low teacher pay and school funding Wednesday, March 28, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

LISTEN: Beth Lewis, Teacher and Chair of Save Our Schools Arizona

PHOENIX — Will Arizona teachers strike? That’s still not clear Tuesday afternoon.

One thing is: Arizona teachers are getting tired of what they say is too little pay for the growing number of tasks both in and out of the classroom.

“Everybody’s burned out, especially the kids,” Beth Lewis with the grassroots organization Save Our Schools Arizona told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Chad Benson Show on Monday.

“We’re done; we want to organize; we want to be heard.”

Many teachers throughout Arizona have been protesting for higher pay — as much as 20 percent — as well as more hiring to ease classroom overcrowding.

“It’s time for us to organize, it’s time for us to fight for what’s right,” Lewis said.

“We’ve got 2,000 classrooms right now without a teacher. That’s like (60,000) to 70,000 kids that don’t know what face they’re going to see when they walk in the door.”

Teachers have been demonstrating for improved pay and conditions for weeks. Arizona public school instructors are among the lowest paid in the United States.

Gov. Doug Ducey has said teachers in the state would receive a 1 percent raise, and added that since he has been in office, more money has been made available for salaries.

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