TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The Flowing Wells Unified School District welcomed students back to school on Thursday morning, May 3, for the first time since the statewide teacher walkout began a week earlier.
Lawmakers passed a new budget bill earlier Thursday; however, the district announced it would open its doors before the deal was official.
In a letter to parents, Superintendent David Baker told parents the district was ready to get students back into the classrooms. The note did not mention how many teachers would be back.
Teachers at Laguna Elementary School, 5001 N. Shannon Road, gathered outside the school for a "walk-in" demonstration. One teacher we spoke to said most teachers at Laguna were back at school.
After hearing news about the early-morning legislation, teachers said they were happy and said it was a step in the right direction. They said they will keep the #RedForEd movement going.
"I'm really glad that we fought the fight we've been fighting, and we want to keep that momentum going," Laguna teacher Katie Tash said.
"We're gonna just continue educating our community and people in Arizona so that they can do what's best for our public education system because that really should be a priority in Arizona," fellow teacher Teal Reinhardt said.
In the letter announcing the reopening, Baker said all services would be operational, including school buses.
"We have all felt uncertainty and anxiety due to school closures. We certainly recognize the many hardships placed on families with the disruption of the regular school calendar," Baker said in the letter.
He noted that the district plans to evaluate what kind of effect the closures will have on the remainder of the school year. He went on to thank teachers and families for their patience during the walkout.
The Flowing Wells Unified School District serves about 6,000 students in 10 schools. Other districts that reopened on Thursday, May 3, include Sierra Vista and Douglas along with Vail, which opened on Tuesday, May 1.