Legislative Update: Arizona

#RedforEd movement prompts Teacher strike

7b045e34996e6b4d7ffd9c8e257d5370Similar to other national teacher walk outs, Arizona teachers in an initiative called #RedforEd held a 6 day strike that had many schools closed, and thousands marching on the state capitol.  The teacher demand is for an increase in teacher salaries, more education funding, and increased wages for support staff such as bus drivers and cafeteria workers.

Governor Ducey proposed a $10.4 billion budget plan that will increase teacher salaries 20% by 2020, but protestors argue that the budget plan takes funds from needed services to disabled students, and not all teachers will qualify for the raises.

Ultimately, lawmakers approved a budget that included $273 million for teacher pay raises during its final week of the annual legislative session.

Navajos commemorate return to homeland

1200px-navajo_flag-svgThe Navajo Nation is preparing to commemorate a dark period of its history of the signing of the Treaty of 1868.  The Navajo Long Walk is an event in 1865 that saw many Navajo people rounded up from their traditional homelands and marched to Bosque Redondo near Fort Sumner, New Mexico.  Many Navajos died enroute to Bosque Redondo where they were held captive until Navajo leaders agreed to the Treaty of 1868.

Once the Treaty was signed, Navajos were allowed to return to their traditional homelands in Northern Arizona and Northwest New Mexico.

Recently, an original copy of the Treaty of 1868 was discovered and will go on display at the Bosque Redondo Memorial, and another copy will be displayed at the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock, Arizona.

Chris Balzano contributed to this report

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