Meanwhile, legislative analysts said late last year that a new round of corporate tax cuts would leave the state $100 million short in 2018, unless spending was cut.

Republican Gov. Doug Ducey offered a 20 percent pay raise to teachers earlier this month—but teachers’ groups refused to back it when it became clear that Ducey had no sustainable plan to fund the raises, and that it would cut services for universities, Medicaid, and those with developmental disabilities.  

“We can’t take from one pot to give to another pot,” Democratic state Rep. Reginald Bolding told “Universities, they need funds. Developmentally disabled, they need funds. Hospitals need funds. People on Medicaid need funds. We have to raise revenue.”

Beth Simek, president of the Arizona PTA, urged the governor to “find a sustainable, permanent funding source that does not hurt others in the process.”

States including West Virginia, Kentucky, and Oklahoma have all made headlines in recent weeks with schools across the states closing for days at a time as teachers demanded more funding for education.

“As educators, the students are at the center of everything we do. Every student deserves a chance at a quality education, and access to services like nutrition, health, and after school programs,” said the AEA on Thursday.

“Education isn’t just a job, it’s a calling. That’s why we’re walking out,” added Karvelis.

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