Teacher walkout leaves many students with questions

Written by Melanie Furman & Kyle Kerns

With the teacher walkout beginning Thursday, April 26, new information about the walkout and how it affects Corona is coming out each day. Here is a current list of the facts that are known about the walkout and what facts are still unknown. This list will be updated constantly as new information is learned.


What We Know:

  • Is school canceled? If so, what days?
    • Corona will not have school on Thursday and Friday. On Monday, the principals had a meeting to discuss the absences to decide which Tempe Union high schools would be closed and which would remain open. Because a majority of teachers called in an absence at Corona, school has been canceled.
  • Why are the teachers doing this?
    • The Red for Ed movement has five demands: a 20 percent raise for teachers, restore funding for education to 2008 levels, competitive pay for school support staff, permanent salary and annual raises, and no new tax cuts until the per-pupil funding reaches the national average. As of now, Governor Ducey has only met the first demand: giving a 20% increase in salary to teachers by 2020. This does not address the issues of raises for support staff or permanent funding for education. Teachers are doing this to improve all aspects of education for public school students.
  • How long can teachers actually be absent?
    • On Saturday, an emergency board meeting was held to address one board policy. If teachers take more than three sick days, they are required to provide a doctor’s not upon return. At the board meeting, however, a vote of 4-0 suspended this policy for the remainder of the school year. With the policy being suspended, there is no way to know how long this strike could last.
  • What about athletes and playoffs?
    • The AIA is not modifying the schedule for playoff games. Each district is treating the walkout differently, but the AIA rules will overrule districts’ decisions to cancel school. As of now, athletics and activities will continue until further notice.
  • Are there buffer days and are there enough to prevent adding extra school days?
    • There are “buffer days.” The state requires 180 instructional days or 720 instructional hours. According to Administrative Assistant Mary Baker, Dr. Baca assures that there are enough buffer days to last a little while before additional school days have to be added.


What We Don’t Know

  • How long will the walkout last? Will it go longer than two days? When will we return to school, and will this affect finals?
  • How many buffer days are there?
  • Will extra school days need to be added to make up the hours lost while school was canceled?
  • Will seniors get their diplomas or they will they walk at graduation but be required to make up the missing hours still?
  • Will AP tests be affected?

    Photo by Alexis Crane
    Staff and students line along the road in support of higher education funding. Arizona teachers voted in favor of walking out.