A six-day teacher strike in Arizona that left millions of students out of public school ended Thursday after Gov. Doug Ducey approved a raise for the educators.
Arizona Educators United, organizers of the strike, called an end to the walkout on Twitter hours after Ducey signed a plan that'll give teachers an overall 20 percent raise over four years.
Teachers were awarded a 9 percent raise for the fall and 5 percent in each of the next two years — increases that come in addition to a 1 percent raise granted last year.
Ducey said the teachers had earned a raise and praised the legislation as “a real win” for both teachers and students. The pay increases will cost about $300 million for the coming year.
Budget cuts over the past decade have deeply cut into Arizona's public schools. Teachers wanted a return to pre-recession funding levels, regular raises, competitive pay for support staff and a pledge not to adopt any tax cuts until per-pupil funding reaches the national average.
Arizona Education Association President Joe Thomas, an organizer of the strike, said that the teachers' demands were largedly ignored by Ducey and the Republican-controlled Legislature.
"The budget is a significant investment, but it falls far short" of what the movement demanded, Thomas said. He added educators will "remember that in the upcoming election."
The Phoenix suburb of Mesa, Arizona's largest district, and districts in the suburbs of Scottsdale and Glendale, planned to reopen Friday. Officials from Tucson’s biggest school district said they were working to reopen 86 school sites on Monday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.