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Student Voices on the RedforED Movement

Students weigh in on funding for public schools and teacher protests.

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Staff

Paige Cuprak, Editor

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In response to the question: “What are your thoughts on the RedforEd protest that our faculty and staff are participating in? Do you have questions about it or comments?”   60 students submitted comments on this topic.  The following are a sampling of those comments.  Please feel free to respond with a comment to this article.   Read our full article on the protest here.

  • “I think our teachers should be paid more. They usually buy their own supplies and classroom needs. They are working all day and most of the time after school on campus. They even do work in their own homes. They have a very important job. They are shaping the minds of the future. They need to be payed more or we are going to start losing our best teachers and be stuck with ones who are under qualified.” ~ Brooke McClure, Sophmore
  • “I understand that teachers need better pay, but there is only so much money in the world, and we’re the 99%. We don’t have a say in anything that the government does, all we can do is hope that something can be done and they will listen to our pleas for help. Until then, all we can do is sit, still and silent, like cows being led to the slaughterhouse.” ~ Brendan Thornburg, Sophmore
  • “I believe that teachers deserve far more monetary compensation than what they are given; they educate and shape future generations. Their jobs are so important and make a huge impact.” ~ Anonymous, Junior
  • “Get a better job if you want more money. You shouldn’t have chosen a field that has a low pay if thats what your focused on.” ~ Anonymous, Freshman
  • “I think that our teachers work so hard to teach us each and every day. Many of us are so beyond ready to leave high-school after four years imagine how our teachers feel teaching the same material each year with little reward. Many teachers spend their nights grading and preparing class but they aren’t payed for their extra time so the fact that they are paid very little when in school is ridiculous. America strives for educational excellence but if that is the goal you need motivated, well-rewarded, and respected teachers. We also have to consider that they work with kids who aren’t always willing to participate and do their work. They are pulling students weight as well as their own. I’m glad that they are sticking up for their beliefs its important, and overall, our teachers deserve better.” -Anonymous, Junior
  • “I believe it is right and that teacher should be paid more. They are teaching the future of this world, they have one of the most important jobs. Amen.” -Anonymous, Sophomore
  • “I support the actions of the teachers and other staff. When we, as a state, are spending more money on our prisoners than on education, then it’s time to realize that the lack of money spent on education may very likely be one of the major causes for crime, especially in inner cities. It’s time to stop denying money from our schools when they are the building blocks of our character and actions.”- Anonymous, Junior
  • “The average pay for Arizona elementary teachers is $42,474, a 20% pay increase would only bring them up to $50,969. The national median for elementary teachers is $55,800. That would still leave our Arizona teachers $4,831 below the national median, with a 20% increase! That’s absolutely outrageous! We as a community should have the decency to at least pay them the national median, but even at that point they’d still be underpaid for the amount of work they do for our youths. In conclusion, our lovely Arizona teachers definitely need a sizable pay increase, at least to bring them up to the national median.”  -Trevor Hunter, Freshman
  • “I think its good the teachers are taking a stand. Like other protests, they have the right, and its for a good cause. We aren’t paying teachers enough. They teach the kids of the future, and they deserve more.” -Talmage Erickson, Sophomore
  • “I cannot believe that I did not know more about this protest, for I would wholeheartedly contribute to this protest. As a student teacher at Carol Rae Ranch Elementary School and secretary of the Teacher Prep Club, my passion for teaching is tantamount to my passion for food, to say the least. I have had numerous teachers who made a life-changing impact for me over the years, and of course, who inspired me to pursue a teaching career. As much as I would want to stay home, I must say that school certainly gave me a worldly perception on our life and society, which I would never have been able to acquire by sitting at home being a couch potato. To me, teachers are one of the main engines that keeps the world functioning. Because they are willing to sacrifice (or I should say, contribute) half of their own lifetime to educate others, we are able to derive the full potentials of many intellectuals in our world who are now scientists and doctors saving lives, architects and construction workers building comfortable shelters, and insightful governors and presidents carrying the country on their shoulders. From elementary to middle school to high school to college, teachers should deserve a better pay for their hard-work and dedication. Indeed, educators here in America are nevertheless uncommon. One may critique this protest due to the community already overpopulated with teachers; however, our government can only do so much (logically speaking) considering that the schools and teachers all across the country must be funded. Therefore, I believe the fund would only be enough for a minor support for teachers financially, yet a substantial respect and recognition which towards our teachers.”  -Joe Huang, Sophomore
  • “It seems to me as though the RedforEd initiative is against more individual freedom when it comes to school choice by trying to eliminate ESA funding. If the parents are paying the taxes to the state, the parents should be allowed to find another school if they feel like their child is not receiving a satisfactory education. If the parents choose to do this, the parent should receive some of their tax dollars back if it is not going to their child’s public education. It seems as though the teachers are simply trying to keep the public schools strong at the expense of a small minority of students’ education. Additionally, the teachers are asking for a pay raise without presenting a coherent budgetary solution to divert to the teachers’ salary.”  -Anonymous, Sophomore
  • “I think it reminds me of people who work at Target and Pizza Hut, they all wear red.” -Gavin Ray, Freshman
  • “I would like to commend everyone at Highland who participated in the protest and more importantly, give them a big hug and let them know I support them as a student and a fellow activist/organizer. Those who work for AZ schools deserve more pay and while I wasn’t able to make their last protest (due to a track meet), I will be at future RedForEd events standing with my teachers who have done so much for me both in school and in previous protests.” -Trey Sequeira, Sophomore
  • “I feel that teachers need to be paid more because they have the future of our generations’ education in their hands. For example, teachers are the ones that help us learn and get to college so we can succeed in life, without them we don’t have smart kids. If we don’t have smart kids then we just have a bunch of duds that eat Tidepods, and nobody wants that…”  -Preston Finch, Sophomore
  • “I support it 100%. Teachers NEED to be paid more, because they don’t make a lot of money at the moment. When I say not a lot of money, I mean barely enough for them to get by on. My geometry class has had a problem for the past few months, because our teacher broke her ankle and an infection, and wouldn’t be able to come back this school year. We’ve had 6 substitute teachers so far, all of them leaving either due to lack of money or because they can’t keep up with the demand for our class. It’s super irritating, because we’re not learning much and it’s affecting our grades. I really hope teachers can get paid more so there isn’t a shortage of teachers.” -Ethan Indrizzo, Freshmen
  • ‘I think that teachers deserve better pay raises. They didn’t go to years of college to be paid the bare minimum. Without teachers, there wouldn’t be a school. So lets give teachers a pay raise they deserve. After all, they are the ones educating the future generation that will be leading and running this country next… So why would their pay be lower than a QT manager in the state of Arizona? Without higher pay raises, unqualified ‘teachers’ are being hired (especially in charter schools) so that the schools needs for teachers are met. To put in perspective, would you want to be paid almost nothing for all the hours you put in to help students? Would you want to be learning from an unqualified teacher or professor at your school or university? The obvious and correct answer is- NO. Its about time teachers spoke up, and got the appropriate amount of pays.’ -Emmalee Lunt, Sophomore

 

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “Student Voices on the RedforED Movement”

  1. Lisa Geusic on April 4th, 2018 9:21 PM

    As a parent, I feel the state teacher shortage is terrible, and I want my child and other students to have enough qualified staff at any and every school they desire to go to. I’m not sure how they are staffing all these new schools with qualified, seasoned expert teachers. It is a shame that 2000 teachers have already left the profession or the state to make a living, have a family and own a home. I will make an effort to support those who can bring postive change to lower class sizes and retain qualified educators. If we don’t have teachers, we don’t have what teachers create…a workforce and solid future. I am proud to be a parent, teacher, student learning every day. We are all continuous students in life. We need to always value those who bring us lessons in any form.

  2. ashley on April 23rd, 2018 8:30 PM

    so sad

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