Could the fight over education and teacher pay be enough to swing states from red to blue in the next election? Funding for education in many red states has long come at the expense of tax-slashing GOP legislatures. But teachers, and many parents, have reached the breaking point. Last year The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities reported 29 states provided less education funding in 2015 per student than in 2008.
— Louisville KY (@LouisvilleUSA) April 12, 2018
Educators in Oklahoma continue to strike over the low school budgets; some in Kentucky keep up their protests over a new controversial pension reform bill and Arizona teachers have begun laying plans for their own walkout. The New York Times reports that hundreds of parents and students joined their teachers in protests outside of schools in Chandler, Arizona, a middle-class suburb of Phoenix. They all wore red shirts with the word “RedforEd” printed on them.
Who's surprised that the tolerance for hurting kids and teachers to benefit corporate greed has run out? Not us! “It’s urban, rural, statewide and it is indeed unprecedented!” https://t.co/UrVyre38cf #redfored #unite4education #werise
— David Edwards (@daveswords) April 12, 2018
Some believe that these protests could threaten the political hold that the GOP has in these deep-red states. Indeed, Democrats running for governor of Arizona have aligned themselves with the teachers’ cause, saying that the question of education funding is the biggest issue that will drive opposition to the Republican regime.
Dear Oklahomans, It’s time to Vote Blue, Funding Education has never been a Democrats problem, It’s time to remove the GOP & join the UNITED STATES of America & you got it come on join us & turn Oklahoma Blue, get Sick & Tired & Fight Back with your vote #TheResistance #VoteBlue
— Leigh (@iamleigh4ever) April 4, 2018
@koconews @NEWS9 Anyone thought to ask presumptive Republican gubernatorial candidate @MickCornett where he stands on education funding? Democrat @DrewForOklahoma has been marching with teachers so his stance is pretty clear.
— Suzanne (@ousuzanne) April 5, 2018
According to the Times, “both Republicans and Democrats in these strongly conservative states see the unrest around education as symptomatic of broader unease about years of budgetary belt-tightening that have followed popular tax cuts.”