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Arizona teachers renew ‘Red for Ed’ calls for more school funding

Glendale teacher Kelley Fisher holds a sign reading "Spending $787 on my classroom to start the school year is NOT okay!" (Kelley Fisher Photo)

PHOENIX — As the new school year gets underway, Arizona teachers are renewing their calls for more funding for public schools.

“Red for Ed is still here, and we still have funding issues,” said Kelley Fisher, a kindergarten teacher at Las Brisas Elementary School in Glendale.

She and other teachers are taking to social media to post photos of them wearing red and holding signs saying why the state still needs to invest more in public schools.

This comes as thousands of teachers are seeing 5% pay raises this school year after getting 10% raises last year. It’s part of Gov. Doug Ducey’s plan to give teachers a 20% pay raise by the year 2020.

The governor announced his plan and the state legislature approved the funding for it last year after thousands of teachers, fired up by the Red for Ed movement, participated in a six-day walkout.

Fisher said the social media posts are meant to send the message that the walkout “wasn’t just about a raise for our pockets.”

“It was about raising the amount of money that we get for our students and our classrooms,” she said.

Teachers have posted about everything from class size to the amount of money they’ve spent out of their pockets for supplies this new school year. One teacher said he had to move class to the library because his classroom was too hot.

“I posted that I have already spent $787 on my classroom,” Fisher said. “I bought everything from glue sticks and markers to copy paper and Kleenex, and even furniture that was needed in my classroom.”

“It should not be up to me to provide all those things,” she added.

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