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Arizona approves big teacher raises

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Staff Writer | May 3, 2018
Arizona lawmakers enacted a budget that provides big raises for many of the state's striking teachers.
Arizona approves big teacher raises
Education   The five-day walkout
This is potentially ending the five-day walkout that kept more than a million public school students out of the classroom.

The Senate passed the pay raises just before dawn, and Republican Gov. Doug Ducey immediately signed off on the plan to give teachers a 9 percent raise in the fall and 5 percent in each of the next two years. A 1 percent raise had already been approved, so the teachers will get a 20 percent overall increase over four years.

The striking teachers, who are among the lowest paid in the country, kept watch at the state Capitol all night, packing the House and Senate galleries during the debate and holding a candlelight vigil in a courtyard.

Organizers of the strike had called for classes to resume Thursday if the budget passed. But many large districts ended up canceling school for a sixth straight day as the lawmakers worked through the night.

One of the state's largest districts, in the Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale, announced shortly after the budget passed that schools would reopen Friday. Other districts seemed likely to follow later in the day.

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