Reprinted from The New York Times by Leah Varjacques, Taige Jensen and Japhet Weeks on April 26, 2018.
Tens of thousands of teachers are walking out of their schools in Arizona on Thursday. Arizona is the latest conservative state with protesters demanding an increase in teacher salaries and more resources for students. In this video op-ed, four conservative teachers lament the conditions in their classrooms and, in turn, wrestle with their political beliefs.
“I’m a die-hard Republican, and I’m dying inside,” says Allison Ryal-Bagley, an elementary school substitute teacher. “Republicans aren’t taking care of our kids.”
Over the last decade, Arizona has had the greatest decrease in per-student spending in the country — a 36.6 percent drop since 2008 — making it 48th in the nation. Arizona also ranks 43rd in teacher pay, at nearly $11,000 less than the national average, according to the National Education Association. …