Arizona teachers bring 'bills, not boats' protest to capitol - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Arizona teachers bring 'bills, not boats' protest to capitol

Teachers dressed as boat captains and dragged inflatable rafts to the Capitol grounds. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Teachers dressed as boat captains and dragged inflatable rafts to the Capitol grounds. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The protest is a response to Arizona House Majority Leader John Allen, a Republican from Scottsdale, telling the Arizona Capitol Times that teachers get second jobs to afford luxuries. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The protest is a response to Arizona House Majority Leader John Allen, a Republican from Scottsdale, telling the Arizona Capitol Times that teachers get second jobs to afford luxuries. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Teachers say they take second jobs in order to pay the bills, not buy boats. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Teachers say they take second jobs in order to pay the bills, not buy boats. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Teachers want Gov. Doug Ducey to do more for teachers. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Teachers want Gov. Doug Ducey to do more for teachers. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Even with the apparent two percent raise lawmakers seem ready to approve, Arizona teacher pay will still rank among the lowest in the nation, if not the lowest.

Dozens of teachers gathered at the Arizona State Capitol Tuesday afternoon, demanding a four percent raise. 

The protest is a response to Arizona House Majority Leader John Allen, a Republican from Scottsdale, telling the Arizona Capitol Times that teachers get second jobs to afford luxuries.

“They’re making it out as if anybody who has a second job is struggling. That’s not why many people take a second job. They want to increase their lifestyles. They want to improve themselves. They want to pay for a boat. They want a bigger house. They work hard to provide themselves with a better lifestyle," Allen reportedly told the Times.

"That's very hurtful to us as teachers," Mesa teacher Anna Cicero said.

Teachers dressed as boat captains and dragged inflatable rafts to the Capitol grounds.

They carried signs which read, "What boat? We're barely afloat!"

"I have to [work a second job] just to keep my house and keep up with payments," Mesa teacher Norma Jimenez said.

"Teachers who work two or three jobs go to the classroom exhausted," said Lee Ann Silva, who will be teaching in Deer Valley next fall.

Others are giving up, and leaving Arizona altogether, further contributing to the state's teacher shortage.

"I'd love to stay. I work for a great school with great people," James Loughrie, a special ed teacher in Glendale said.

He just took a job in California, which will pay an extra $35,000 per year.

"The cost of living will be higher, but by the time I retire it'll mean an extra million dollars," he said.

Rep. John Allen issued a statement, walking back his prior comments:

“I would never intentionally belittle those that work hard and struggle to make their lives better. I admire them. I'm sorry that I didn't choose every word as carefully as I should have, but life has its moments when we fall short of our intentions. I will try to handle the consequences with grace and understanding, and I hope others can do the same.”

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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