Since last Thursday, our public schools here in AZ have been closed. The closing is due to a state-wide teacher walk-out. The main reason for the walk-out is due to the lack of funding for our schools, which obviously includes our teachers salaries.
From what I’ve heard and read, AZ ranks near the bottom nationally for teacher pay. In fact, according to a a May 2017 analysis by Arizona State University’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy, it ranks 50th in the nation for elementary teacher salaries, and 49th for high school teacher salaries. According to this analysis, Oklahoma ranks 50th for high school teachers.
These are sad statistics to hear and thankfully, it appears that a budget deal may have been finally reached. Today, I received the following message from my son and daughter’s school. “School District will reopen schools on Thursday, May 3, 2018 and resume all normal services and activities. We are counting on all our staff to report to work and resume classes for our students on Thursday.”
During and prior to this walk-out, I have seen teachers in front of schools and on the streets, wearing their “Red for Ed” shirts and holding their signs to demonstrate their disapproval of the funding for education in our state to the public. They have been passionate about this cause. They believe that they are fighting the good fight for education statewide.
Not everyone has been on board with this walk-out though. Having students home, when they otherwise would be in school, has been a hardship for several families. Especially, single parents who are already financially stretched themselves. That is completely understandable.
Although it has not been a financial burden for my family, I have had my own concerns as to how this walk-out might affect my daughter’s up-coming graduation and commitments she’s made immediately following. For one, she’s part of a team from our church who will be helping with hurricane relief in Puerto Rico shortly following her graduation.
Even so, I think we can all agree that teachers, and schools in general, should be properly funded. Therefore, I believe that they are fighting a good fight.
As I’m writing this, I just got notification that our school district will not be resuming classes tomorrow. Apparently, the budget deal that was reached has not actually been signed. That is, as of yet. Therefore, it appears that the majority of the teachers do not have the confidence that they need to return back to the classroom. Of course, this is disappointing both to myself and my kids. And, I’m positive it’s disappointing to many other families as well. Here’s hoping that the budget deal gets signed by tomorrow!
When I thought about this teacher walk-out this past week, it reminded me of Apostle Paul’s words in 1 & 2 Timothy in regards to fighting a good fight.
“Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”
1 Timothy 6:12
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
2 Timothy 4:7
As Christians, God calls us to fight. Fight the good fight of the faith. Don’t give up on it, but keep persevering through it! We will receive hurdles along the way. There will be ups and downs. And sometimes, people won’t understand or even like us for it. But in the end, there will be no greater joy than to be able to say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith!”
Also, to hear these words spoken by our Heavenly Father…
“Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”
As these teachers are fighting the good fight of education, let us Christians not give up fighting the good fight of the faith. Keep persevering! Keep on keeping on!
Thank you Lord for the reminder that we Christians, too, are fighting a good fight. Help me to continue to persevere through and not give up hope. Help me to finish the race and finish it well. ❤
A budget deal has passed and has been signed by our governor this morning. The kids will be back in school tomorrow (Friday)! 🙂