We Are Republican Teachers Striking in Arizona. It’s Time to Raise Taxes. | NYT – Opinion

As a conservative, the words “strike,”
“union” — not in my vocabulary. Our students deserve
to have a fully funded education. I did vote for Trump. I consider myself a
Bible-believing Christian. I’ve always been a fan
of fiscal conservatism. I’ve always voted
Republican, but now I’m seeing firsthand
what that gets us. The classrooms
are falling apart. We have festering bathrooms. We have cockroaches. We have tattered textbooks. Teachers aren’t
getting the resources that they need
within the classroom. A wave of protests sweeping
across the country, led by teachers who say the
future of public education is at stake. Teachers and specifically public-school teachers
really aren’t valued. I have to work 15 to
20 extra hours a week at McDonald’s for minimum wage. Teaching is my calling. I love teaching
music to children. That’s who I am. And people say, if you don’t like the money, go do something else. I can’t. I’m 53 years old. I’m doing what I’m
supposed to do. I know that I will have to
work until the day I die. I won’t be able to
afford to ever be retired. Because of the way
that the state has chosen to fund education
for the last 15 years, it’s simply made it
untenable for me to stay. I’m not leaving teaching. I am leaving the state
because of these issues. I don’t believe it’s
going to get fixed. I just don’t. We are 43rd across the
nation in teacher salary. This is why we’re going to
restore additional assistance. I’m not bragging on 43rd. I’m just saying we’re not last. So we’re not just striking
for a higher salary. We’re striking for
resources for our classrooms and for our students. We are at the bottom of
the pile for the states. We’ve seen teachers
walking out or striking in West Virginia, in Oklahoma and
some other states successfully. And we realized that
we were worse off than some of those states were, and it just grew like wildfire. Teachers are riding a
growing wave of anger over deep education cuts made by Republican-
led legislatures. [chanting] The teacher protests
have been described by some as a red-state revolt. I’ve said I’m on the
side of the teachers, and I’ve been listening,
and we’ve been working. This will result in a net pay
increase of 20 percent by the beginning of
school year 2020. So, on the surface,
that sounds amazing. It won’t help substitutes,
it won’t help our aides. It won’t help our
nurses, our front staff. It comes out of funds that
go to veterans, people in our population who are
disabled and on Medicaid, colleges and universities
in our state. I voted for Governor Ducey and I was really hopeful. And now, honestly, I
just feel betrayed. How can you say you’re pro-life,
and pro-family, and pro-middle class? Even as a conservative, I think it’s only fiscally
responsible to increase a tax to fund public education. Oh my gosh. Did I just say it out loud? I do. I support a tax. I will tell you this
right now, if you are a Republican politician, you better get behind education. I’ve been on my feet
for five hours, waiting on people, sweeping, mopping. I probably won’t get to bed until 12:30
or 1 o’clock tonight. And then I’ve got to be back
up at 6 or 6:30 tomorrow morning. Good night.

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019


  2. Such an important lesson: your vote matters. Vote your interests. There is a difference between that R and the D.

  3. It's a problem cuz they are white schools but black and lantio schools are just as bad or worse and they get no coverage….. Sad in the ords of the president

  4. Congrats- gop controls all 3 branches and this is your life. Maybe you’ll think twice next time before voting republican. Or whatever, you can always fall back on that 2nd job Mcdonald job. Are we winning yet?

  5. The comment section is splited in half either you are conservative or liberal each side wants the other dead even if their point is right. Well, just like the video says America lacks at education and funding for education, which give conservative and liberal parties who know that to beqinwash and abuse the people. Just like how Hilter and Stalin did it.

  6. We don't want the government to do stuff for us, that's socialism! Wait. We do want the government to do stuff for us, it's their job! Make up your minds already, republicans.

  7. I feel sorry for them. Anti union, anti education, anti fair wages is the mantra of the GOP. Like, did you not pay attention?

  8. Stop supporting Republicans. They promise but don't deliver. This is not the Republican party of the past. It's way off track and only caters to the rich.

  9. As a student I want to thank all the teachers who are working to improve the education that me and my peers are getting. This shouldn’t be a partisan issue, everyone has the right to a high quality education. And that means teachers need time and security to teach.

  10. The AVERAGE K-12 teacher salary in Arizona is over 47,000. That is not bad living compared to many people in this country. Considering that starting public teachers nationwide earn in the 25,000 range that means some experienced teachers are making over 75,000 per year nationwide. Search the web for teacher salaries state by state and read for yourself. The Washington Post has a very recent one along with charts from the National Education Association. Just like to add that the starting salary for a Catholic Elementary teacher is around 18000 with a Bachelors.

  11. Any teacher that votes republican probably isn't smart enough to be a teacher. You get what you vote for and if you didn't know that's what you voted for, again, maybe you're not smart enough to be a teacher. Sorry for the kids not sorry.

  12. I have no sympathy whatsoever for teachers who vote Republican. What is disturbing is that these teachers have been teaching our kids when they don't even have the intelligence to understand when they're being conned.

  13. You're a substitute teacher and are conservative because you're a white supremacist even though you're poor.

  14. Is a shame that teachers do not get paid enough to teach our kids and they suffering just as much as the teachers. All these politicians want to do is fill their pockets with money and do not care about the rest of the people who got to struggle to make a living. If things keep going the way they are it's not going to be a struggle to live it going to be a survivor way of living any means necessary.

  15. The government schools have been seeing their costs double every 9-10 years since the 1970's. The national average is now $12,000 per year per student. In some areas, public schools cost over $30,000. Special ed costs $130,000 per year per student, with some special ed programs costing $300-600,000 per year per student. When people who are losing their homes to high federal, state, and local taxes merely question any of this, they are sometimes shouted down or even treated like they're CHEAP for even questioning the political payoffs to school administrators, state bureaucrats, and teachers union officials.

  16. Some of these people have MASTERS DEGREES— I was a tutor in AZ, and not a single I saw student was being adequately taught. One student had a teacher who was diagnosed with cancer, and the school couldn’t afford a replacement, so she came in to teach only on days when she didn’t have chemo. Otherwise, the kids just did “worksheets,” aka nothing that taught them anything at all.

  17. You all been voting for the FASCIST for YEARS yet now you are just seeing it? PATHETIC, you got what you DESERVE!

  18. Raise property taxes and the owners will make it back by raising rent. That’s fine, just saying expect the cost to get passed around.

  19. Wow it's usually Democrats that want tax-and-spend tax-and-spend tax-and-spend! Sorry here in Silicon Valley we are building robots that will replace your jobs within 10 to 15 years you will then become obsolete!

  20. GOP gives all the money to the rich then only to continue their war on the middle class! The problem is not Dem or Republican it is Economic: rich against poor. A billionaire in the White House who is he helping?

  21. Sorry, but you guys are completely clueless. The state can't print money like the Feds. They can't tax any more and they can't borrow any more. AZ has $20 billion in unfunded pension liabilities. The NY Times ran a series "Degrees of Debt" a few years ago. When states run into trouble with their budgets, they cut education because that's one thing they can cut. It's harder to cut pensions .

  22. It's almost like continually cutting taxes for certain people affects the foundational infrastructure for a democratic society

  23. Hey, conservative teachers concerned for the education of your kids! Folks like Trump WANT your kids to be dumb and uneducated so they can manipulate them easier.

  24. Nice video. Euducation should not be a left or right situation. Both side should make education a top priority. Refund it, restructure it, and bring it into the 21st century. Teachers should make the same salary that those who work in the Senate and House!

  25. Yes, but the Walton’s (Walmart heirs) need a tax break. You selfish teachers they need an extra billion in tax cuts to buy another mansion.

  26. All republicans care about is funding their endless wars. Its time we stop invading every poor country and start putting that money on infastructure, science and health.

  27. This is Trumps fault? The man that’s been president for less than 18 months? Teachers low pay and the condition of falling apart schools is Trumps fault?? LOL. We’ve got record low unemployment in 14 states, ISIS has been defeated, North & South Korea just signed an deal to end war. President Trump will get on these other important issues when he gets a moment. #Trump2020

  28. Gov. Ducey says he's ‘on the side of’ the very same teachers he has refused to meet with for weeks leading up to the walkout?

    I'd laugh if I weren't so disgusted.

  29. THIS IS COMMUNIST LIES. RedforEd movement is a Socialist agenda. The demographics of AZ make it difficult for teachers to get higher wages because of the low % of working age people and high % of 65+ and youth populations that need to be paid for. Also, AZ ranks #17 in "weight of effort" for how much taxes go towards education per $1000 of personal income. Look up ARIZONA TAX RESEARCH ASSOCIATION and you'll see that there is NO PROBLEM with how legislature and administration is allocating funds. The districts simply need to spend their money more wisely if they wish teachers to be paid more. SOCIALIST AGENDA BEWARE!!!!

  30. It looks like most people in here think teachers are federal employees. Trump tax break has nothing to do with state and local taxes that are used to pay teachers. While schools do receive federal funding (NCES) shows federal funds to the average school to be about 10%. While not 0 it is still not what most of the posts here are implying.

    I assume its just from ignorance and an unwillingness to actually look up what you are so upset about. Funny almost to have the subject involving education and most choose to not educate themselves.

    As for the question are teachers underpaid? Some i'm sure are. That said elementary school teachers earn 80 percent of what college-educated non-teachers make on average while only working about 70% of the year according to the (OECD).

    Get a summer job to make up the gap or be more frugal on your summer vacation. I make less and have no trouble living comfortably and taking care of my family within my means.

  31. All of this is just one big argument to expand the voucher program to ALL Arizona students. Only RESULTS get rewards, folks.

  32. Wow!!! These so called smart people called teachers believed in something that won't happen till 2020!!! Wow!! You were fooled… HAHAHA next cycle will doop you all again!

  33. What a bunch of spoiled teenage-acting idiots. You should be working for the KIDS, NOT FOR GREED. Teachers make plenty of money and live very, VERY comfortably.

  34. State universities like ASU or UofA dont need state funds, for anything, period. Look at the cost of college.

  35. This is so sad I live in Arizona and go to the school at ————— Can’t say but this is just sad 😭😭😭😭. 2018

  36. More teachers need to stand up. They got money for wars but not for schools. Try voting for another party for once, cant get any worse then what it is. Republicans are no longer for conservatives

  37. Nice sob story, work a full year instead of the 8 months and 14 days a year you currently do and you'll make a full salary!!! Most California teachers work summer school to earn a normal salary.

  38. This is starting to prove that Sen. Bernie Sanders' economic message does INDEED resonate in Red States. When it is regarding your livelihood, all political factions listen to the person whose closest to their struggle. It is ironic that the teachers in West Virginia started something that showed standing up and fighting back DOES get you results. This was also Bernie's lasting message in 2016.

    It's long overdue for a strong viable 3rd political party that is based on working class economics.

  39. remember these overpaid teachrs striking the next time any kid cant afford lunch ……………or the food program at your school is forced to be cut………overpaid teachers wanting 20 percent raises so we have to cut food programs for the children going our public schools…………..

  40. if the people paying taxes at dead end jobs made 15 an hour they mite be able to afford a 3 percent raise for teachers…..but? not 5-7 or even 20 percent…….they are overtaxing the base and soon they will retaliate……..

  41. How dare they hold our children hostage What do our kids test at in Arizona 48th ? Sure looks like their doing a bad job. Try working all year long. Instead of taking the summer off, 3 months they could be working and making more money. Just look at how lazy they are, going home early from the rally because it's to hot out . Try working outside

  42. I'm fortunate to have graduated high school before Trump took office. The way things are now with education, it's only bound to get worse.

  43. teachers overpaid leeches on the rest of the taxpayers…………make all public schools privately funded…..so these teachers demandng a 20 percent raise will have to prove they earned a raise from their new bosses-IE business owners/companies/investors………..who benefit from the students they teach graduating into the/their work force……

  44. Teachers have always been underpaid and given inadequate resources and expected to still preform to the level of those schools that do have new textbooks and better funding.

  45. Yet Congress keeps funding trillions on smoke and mirrors with NASA? I think NASA is pretty neat, but we never get straight answers.

  46. These teachers should watch Robert Reich’s video “the great tax experiment” right wing economic polices drive the economy into the ground and just make the absurdly rich even more absurdly rich just look at what brownback did to kansas

  47. See there's a protest that I can actually stand behind that music teacher literally broke my heart never knew how much my teachers actually cared

  48. A public school teacher who is a republican has mental issues. I can understand a Torie in UK or a CDU in Germany because that kind of conservatism do have interest in social justice. But a GOP voter? come on !

  49. note to teachers: quit voting republican. learn the hard way. republicans don't even care about government jobs. well duh.

  50. you really would be paid less if republicans had a bunch of private schools that would hire for the lowest prices for the students. well duh. quit voting republicans. When I was in 1st grade about 20 years ago I had the best teacher and we bragged on the schools. what happened? i guess the state just went down.

  51. i get it that the teachers arr not only asking for more money, after all more money is not going to make them better teachers, i am sure most of them are already doing thier best, teachers are important i remember going to school i the 60 and 70 and i know how important teachers are, what i cwnt figure out is why it is taking them this long to figure things out, if any of us should be able to figure out the political climate it should be the teachers, dont they talk to each other, dont they think creatively, are they only reciting curriculum they been assigned by the government, are they only like copy machines the only thing that comes out is what goes in, how will they instill courage in kids if they have none themselves, they need to learn to stand up and try to do the right thing, they need to find the courage to lead, teachers should br leaders they should have something to offer, if not the kids are being robbed of their destiny, and all will pay in the long run, often the short cut ends up bring the long way around

  52. No. if you voted for Trump its your own fault. The value went down with your warped vote. All money goes to the fake wall and new golf courses for Trump ONLY! KING TRUMP

  53. Support these teachers and watch your taxes triple in 5 years! They'll NEVER have enough. Take it from someone who experienced it. UNIONS = EASILY REPLACED.

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