ABC15 Arizona(PHOENIX) — Instead of walking out of class, Arizona teachers staged “walk-ins” in their fight for a pay hike.In a twist on red state teacher demonstrations that have been sweeping the country, thousands of teachers across Arizona gathered outside their respective schools in an effort to rally in support of community residents in their ongoing attempt to win better wages.Before classes started today, teachers, many wearing T-shirts reading “#RedForEd,” greeted parents and students with signs reading, “Don’t Shortchange Education” and “Help me Help Them.” Just before school started, the educators, among the lowest paid in the nation, entered their classrooms, many arm-in-arm with students, and got down to the business of reading, writing and arithmetic. The demonstration came a week after more than 2,500 Arizona teachers held a rally at the state capitol in Phoenix to demand Gov. Doug Ducey and the state’s Republican-dominated legislature increase education funding and boost their pay by 20 percent.Arizona public school educators, who earn $47,218 a year on average, rank 42nd in the nation for teacher pay, according to a 2017 report by the National Education Association. “What makes me even more disappointed is that our legislature doesn’t seem to care that we’re at the bottom. They seem to be OK with that,” Beth Symek, president of the Arizona Parent Teacher Association, told ABC affiliate KNXV in Phoenix.The Arizona teachers are planning a larger protest next week, union officials said.Ducey and the Arizona legislature have offered the teachers a 1 percent pay hike. Ducey has noted that the state already gave teachers a 4.3 percent raise from 2016 to 2017.The “walk-in” demonstrations came as Oklahoma public school teachers continued a classroom walkout for the fourth day. Thousands of teachers have swarmed the state capitol in Oklahoma City this week to demand more funding for education resources and higher pay for support staff.The Oklahoma protest comes after Gov. Mary Fallin signed legislation last week granting teachers annual pay raises averaging $6,100, the largest in state history. Oklahoma teachers had been making an average of $45,276 a year, among the lowest wages for educators in the country, according to the National Education Association report.While teachers in Oklahoma say they appreciate the pay raise, they are upset that state lawmakers shortchanged their students by slating $50 million for education programs and supplies. Alicia Priest, president of the Oklahoma Education Association, said the union had asked that teachers’ pay be raised by $10,000 annually and that funding for education be boosted by $200 million over the next three years.Fallin has demanded the teachers go back to work, but the teachers have said they will continue their walkout until their demands are met. Earlier this week, teachers in Kentucky staged a huge rally at their state capitol in Frankfort. The Kentucky teachers say they’re upset over their state legislature’s decision last week to overhaul their pension plan without any say from them.The bill, which is awaiting the governor’s signature, would create a hybrid pension plan for new hires and limit the number of accrued sick days veteran teachers can put toward retirement. Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin has indicated he supports the bill but has yet to sign it.The Republican-dominated Kentucky legislature says the pension reform bill was crafted to help the state cover a $41 billion shortfall in pension costs over the next 30 years. But teachers’ union officials said the pension overhaul would only generate $300 million in savings over the next three decades.The red state teacher revolt started about a month ago in West Virginia, where educators won a 5 percent pay raise after going on strike for nine days.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
USC will host the West Coast Campus Pride College Prep Day & Fair for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender high school students on Saturday, hoping to help the students find a school that suits them and to showcase USC’s LGBT community.Campus Pride, a non-profit organization that works with LGBT-friendly campuses throughout the country, is partnering with USC’s LGBT Resource Center to host the annual event.The fair, which began at UC San Diego three years ago, allows high school students and parents to interact with colleges from across the country.“We work with LGBT colleges across the nation in order to build future leaders and to build safer and friendlier universities,” said Shane Windmeyer, executive director of Campus Pride. “The fair program has taken off.”The USC LGBT Resource Center approached Windmeyer this year about bringing the fair to Los Angeles.“We lobbied for it,” said Vincent Vigil, executive director of the LGBT Resource Center. “We thought USC was in a perfect location for this conference. The thought was to bring the event to USC in order to increase attendance and awareness of LGBT events.”At the fair, students will have the chance to interact with representatives from more than 20 different universities, Windmeyer said. The representatives will be able to talk to prospective students and explain what makes their campuses LGBT-friendly.Carolyn Laub, executive director of the Gay Straight Alliance Network, said she believes LGBT students look for specific aspects when considering a campus.“Students look to see that the college has policies that include not only sexual orientation but also gender and expression,” Laub said. “It is important for these students to be accepted on campus and to have nondiscrimination protections.”Laub said the fair also benefits the participating schools.“It’s an important way for colleges that are LGBT-friendly to show how much they want to support and include LGBT students,” she said.USC will be among the schools marketing themselves to LGBT students Saturday.The Advocate College Guide for LGBT Students, written by Windmeyer and published in 2006, named USC one of the top 20 most LGBT-friendly colleges.Students at USC said they think the LGBT community has improved over the years.“USC is incredibly LGBT-friendly,” said Richard Fletcher, the assistant director of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Assembly. “Seeing how accepting the campus was made me feel more comfortable about my own identity.”Karen Marcus, public relations chair for the GLBTA, said the group has begun expanding its reach on campus.“We are reaching out to different sectors,” Marcus said of the organization’s partnerships with campus ethnic and religious groups. “And I think it has worked.”Fletcher, a USC representative at the fair last year, said the fair would have been useful to him when he was choosing schools.“It’s a great step for universities to reach out to LGBT students. Vincent has done a great job getting the word out,” Fletcher said.Unlike other fairs, the event at USC will also feature a college-prep component. The prep day will consist of three workshops in the morning, followed by lunch, the actual fair and a tour of the campus.The fair will give prospective LGBT students an opportunity to learn about college, how to apply for scholarships and gain insight to the LGBT program.“Particularly, we want to teach what questions to ask when students are considering to apply,” Windmeyer said.Vigil said he believes the partnership between USC’s LGBT community and Campus Pride speaks to the heart of the university.“I think that in relation to USC’s standards in terms of reaching out to the community we are aligned with those standards,” he said.
John Mikel Obi, Super Eagles Captain John Obi Mikel has announced his retirement from the senior national team after after 13 years of service.The 32-year old midfielder who was part of Gernot Rohr’s squad that won the bronze medals of the AFCON 2019 in Egypt for a record eight time announced on Instagram that he was glad ending his career in Egypt where it all began with the senior national team in 2006.“Egypt is a country where I have started and have finished my national career. In 2006, i played my first official Championship for my country. 2019 Africa Cup of Nations marks my last Championship for National Team with Super Eagles, Mikel posted on Instagram Thursday afternoon.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram