Thousands of support staff join educators in Tucson rally

Thousands of support staff join educators in Tucson rally
Support staff joining teachers to 'paint Broadway' in Red for Ed rally. (Source: Tucson News Now)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - As red-shirted crowds cover Broadway Boulevard across Tucson Wednesday evening, bus drivers, custodians, maintenance workers and other support staff will be joining teachers in their push for more money for public education.

Most school districts across southern Arizona have closed for Thursday and Friday because of a teacher strike, and many support staff are joining them.

During a Tuesday morning press conference, TUSD Superintendent Gabriel Trujillo said district transportation would be shut because so many drivers notified administrators that they would not be in for work.

AFSCME Local 449 Chairman Peter Herran figured this movement is the first time educators and labor organizations have worked together to improve public education in Arizona.

"Educators and support staff have labored under nearly a decade of defunding which has led to retention issues and a lack of necessary resources which makes it difficult to provide the service that our students deserve," he said in a released statement.

Thousands of people are expected to be stretched from downtown Tucson to the far east side all along Broadway Boulevard.

Reporter Craig Reck will be out there all evening. Follow him on Twitter for updates @CraigReckNews.

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