Teachers raise their voices at the state capitol

Published: Aug. 7, 2022 at 11:01 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 7, 2022 at 11:07 PM CDT
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KAIT/KARK) -Teachers across the state are demanding change.

Teachers all around the state of Arkansas have been rallying to get salary increases. On July 26 we saw teachers gather in Jonesboro to make their voices heard.

Governor Asa Hutchinson is set to host a special session Monday, Aug. 8 regarding a surplus of funds in the state funds that teachers want to go towards their salary.

On Sunday, Aug. 7, educators headed to the capitol building for a block party and rally.

From 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. people gathered on Capitol Avenue in front of the capitol steps for the block party that had food trucks, face painting, poster-making, marching bands, and more.

Once the clock stuck 4:00 p.m. the rally began. Everybody that attended fought for pay raises for all certified and classified staff until 5:00 p.m.

Sunday wasn’t just about wanting change in the future, it was also a chance to celebrate the tireless dedication of public-school employees.

Content partner KARK spoke with teacher and Director for AR Strong, Gwen Faulkenberry who said, “We are asking the legislature to put teacher raises on the special session agenda.”

KARK also spoke with a third-grade teacher in attendance that says the raise needs to happen for Arkansas to keep qualified teachers.

“Whenever I see new educators come in and only stay within the field for three years so that they can leave for a better paying position somewhere else in another field, or to another state to receive more, it really saddens me for the state of our children in the state,” said teacher, Erika Askeland.

Earlier in the week, the Raise Act was proposed to raise the minimum teacher salary, “to $42,000 a year and it also gives a $4000 raise to all teachers, so that would be a very good start,” said Senate District 20 candidate and college educator, Chenoa Summers.

Some teachers said they don’t know if the rally will change anything, but they will continue to stand together and push on to make change happen.

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