TUCSON, AZ— Today, teachers in Tucson are holding a rally for education funding to draw attention to current education funding issues in the State of Arizona. This comes in the midst of massive teacher demonstrations and walk-outs in West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Kentucky. In response, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva issued the following statement:
“Teachers are at the frontlines of fulfilling the American promise of public education that any child—regardless of race, ethnicity, language, country of origin, income, disability or immigration status—has access to the best educational opportunities. They are some of society’s most important public servants, yet respect for their positions and sacrifices have reached a historic low in Arizona and other states across the nation. According to a report by the U.S. Census Bureau, the state of Arizona’s contributions to public education is at the bottom five of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, with the state only contributing roughly $8,600 per pupil.
“Outdated and scarce textbooks, overcrowded schools, and slashed benefits and salaries are the unacceptable consequences of years of neglect from Republicans in state legislatures across the country—and Arizona is no different. According to a study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Arizona cut more funding for K-12 education than any other state, which decimates that ability of teachers to adequately do their jobs and educate students. With limited resources they have worked miracles, but budget cuts and historic neglect of public education must stop now.
“The teachers and students of Arizona deserve better. Teachers deserve great pay, benefits, and access to the best resources to help them empower their students. Instead of sacrificing teacher pay and allowing our school infrastructure to crumble, it’s time that we invest in our educators and the students they serve and renew our commitment to public education for future generations.”