Red for Ed: Day 2 rally - Tucson News Now

Red for Ed: Day 2 rally

(Source: Tucson News Now) (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Day 2 of the #RedforEd rally drew a smaller crowd amid talks that the walkout will continue into next week.

Still, the crowd numbers ebbed and flowed as the day went on, possibly reaching near 1,000, the estimate on day 1.

Several teachers at the rally said they will travel to Phoenix on Monday, April 30 to be part of a show of force when the lawmakers come back into session.

They complained the lawmakers ended their week on Thursday before the 50,000 strong crowd arrived at the State Capitol.

"I want to make sure the lawmakers know we're here," said Sonya Gauna, a high school history teacher.

There was also talk about making financial decisions early, in case an agreement is not reached and the walkout extends into several days and weeks.

"I'm going to be writing letters to creditors to let them know what's going on," said John Fife, a 27-year veteran teacher whose wife is retired. "It's going to be tight."

Most said they are not getting paid now or would not be getting paid as the walkout extends beyond the weekend.

Liz Bruggeman, a history teacher in the Amphi district said she is not getting paid and will suffer some hardship if it drags on.

"I'm a young teacher on a single income but this short term sacrifice is worth it in the long run," she said. "I think we need to ride this out, for as long as we need to."

She said it's not about wages for her, but supplies and workable conditions for her and her students.

27-year-old Sarah Nystedt, a 3rd grade teacher, said she and her husband will sometimes forego groceries because the budget is too tight.

"I actually have a second job," she said. She works at a retail store at the mall on the weekends to help ends meet. As with many other younger teachers, student loans eat at her income. She pays $331 a month for those loans and will for the next seven years.

"I make $900 every two weeks," she said. 

The longer the walk out goes on, the more difficult it will become to sustain public support, a concern to many rally goers.

"I know that not everyone is going to agree with what I'm doing," said Gauna. "I respect their opinions."

But if they have children of their own, "I hope they will think about this and know we're doing it for all the children." 

Copyright 2018 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

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