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What has happened since last year’s teacher walkout in Arizona?

Teachers chant during continued protests at the Arizona Capitol Thursday, May 3, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Last spring, 50,000 Arizona teachers converged on the state Capitol to demand that lawmakers restore education funding to 2007 and 2008 levels and approve substantial teacher raises.

They got 20 percent raises over three years, but other matters were largely deferred to this year. Meanwhile, after a teacher-supported referendum reached the ballot, voters resoundingly voted to nix legislation to increase the use of educational vouchers for private schools.

Fast forward to this year. What is happening at the legislature? How is it viewed among teachers?

The second installment of the teacher raise seems safe, but legislation has been introduced to find a way to increase vouchers notwithstanding the public vote, and some bills strike some as retaliatory actions towards these teachers. And stories abound of largely unregulated charter schools managing to find ways to enrich their owners by literally millions of dollars.

We will discuss these and related issues with:

• Beth Lewis, founder of Save Our Schools Arizona, which spearheaded last year’s ballot initiative to prevent the expansion of vouchers.

• Christine Marsh, 2016 Arizona Teacher of the Year, who fell short of winning a seat in the Arizona state Senate by 267 votes.

• Lily Altavena, Arizona Republic’s education reporter

The Think Tank airs on KTAR News 92.3 FM on Sunday at 1-2 p.m. and repeats at 9-10 p.m.

Podcasts are available after each show is broadcast.

The Think Tank