/ Modified apr 26, 2018 6:03 p.m.

Ducey Touts Plan, Lawmakers Speak in Capitol During Teacher Walkout

Government leaders made their own statements inside the Capitol while educators rallied outside.

Gov. Doug Ducey began his day on television. While teachers were gathering in downtown Phoenix, he was making appearances Thursday on TV stations in the city.

He told anchors and viewers he has a good plan for teacher pay raises. Ducey said the holdup is the Legislature, and he urged people to call state lawmakers and tell them to pass his plan.

"Go to azleg.gov and find your legislator if you don't know who they are. And tell them to pass the 20 percent pay raise for our teachers," Ducey told viewers of 3TV in Phoenix.

The Arizona House and Senate were both at work inside the Capitol as #RedForEd supporters began flooding the grounds. The public galleries for both chambers were filled with red-clad supporters of the teacher walkout.

Democrats in both chambers took to the floor to show their support.

Rep. Reggie Bolding, D-Phoenix, said the Legislature needs to stop balancing the budget "on the backs" of teachers.

"For far too long what we have done is given everyone else, everyone else a break. And we told teachers, 'You have to wait.' We've told students, 'You have to wait. We've told communities, 'You have to wait.' Well, when you look at the crowd outside, when you look at the people in the gallery, they are saying, 'We are no longer waiting, we want our fair share,'" said Bolding to cheers and applause from the teachers in the gallery.

A handful of legislative Republicans also spoke. Their common theme was education funding has risen in recent years.

"Since 2015, Arizona has added $1.7 billion to K-12 education. And there has been an effort down here, as the economy has improved, that those extra dollars are directed toward education as much as we can do that," said Sen. Sylvia Allen, R-Snowflake.

Some Republicans are still not on board with Ducey's plan, which relies on faster economic growth than Arizona has seen in recent years.

Legislative Democrats, those Republicans, and #RedForEd supporters say that is not a sustainable way to fund education.

Neither the House nor Senate is scheduled to meet before Monday. That means even if a deal is worked out it most likely won't be voted on until next week.

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