Teacher protests hang over state lawmakers in budget season

SEATTLE (AP) — The shadow of the past year’s teacher protest movement is hanging over state capitals, where officials are piecing together the money to make good on promised pay raises and try to forge a sustainable funding formula for the future.

From Washington state and Arizona to Oklahoma and Texas, lawmakers are confronting a new political reality that the “Red4Ed” movement left behind.

The walkouts that began in February 2018 in West Virginia and spread across the country forced a national conversation about the value of a teacher and the conditions of public school classrooms.

It also bolstered the political momentum among teacher unions and education advocates who say they suffered the brunt of many cost-cutting budgets over the years and are now unapologetic about demanding more money and resources.

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