Area schools will be open despite impending walkout

Gila Valley schools will be open Thursday despite the RedforEd walkout. While some teachers may be absent to support the cause, all local school districts have confirmed that they will be open to one extent or another.

The walkout will affect some 84,000 students statewide as more than 100 school districts will be closed. It’s unclear how long the walkout will last since the legislature has not passe the budget. In an interview with Gila Valley Central, state senator, Gail Griffin, said that the legislature has been working on the budget but it won’t be ready until next week or the week after. Teacher salaries is one of 400 items being considered on the budget.

“We’re working diligently on the budget but that’s just one segment of the budget,” Griffin said of the teacher salary issue. “We’ve got critical care hospitals that are hurting. We have healthcare in our prisons that are hurting. We have healthcare in general that are hurting, developmental disability people that are hurting. We have some serious issues and that’s all part of the budget. We are continually working on funding education and we should have a budget hopefully in the next week or two that will include 20% teacher salary increases.”