Hundreds protest low teacher pay at Phoenix radio station

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Hundreds hit the street to protest low teacher pay outside of KTAR. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Hundreds hit the street to protest low teacher pay outside of KTAR. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Protesters walked up and down the street outside of KTAR. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Protesters walked up and down the street outside of KTAR. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
They said they want to let the GOP-controlled state Legislature and the governor know that the current salaries for teachers are unacceptable and they want pay raises. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) They said they want to let the GOP-controlled state Legislature and the governor know that the current salaries for teachers are unacceptable and they want pay raises. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Hundreds of people angry about low teacher pay wore mostly red while protesting outside of a Phoenix radio station on Monday afternoon.

They lined the sidewalk outside of KTAR near 16th Street and Northern Avenue.

The protesters are there because Gov. Doug Ducey spoke with the radio station.

“I’m in agreement with them. I want to pay them more and that’s what is going through the budget process right now, so they do get more money,” Ducey told KTAR.

The demonstrators said they want the governor to know they are "Red for Ed." Arizona ranks near the bottom nationwide when it comes to teacher salaries.

“It's been too long with too low of wages our teachers can't take it anymore and our schools are crumbling our students aren't getting the funding for adequate education,” said Noah Karvelis, a music teacher.

Monday's protest comes days after thousands of Arizona teachers wore red in support of teachers.

[READ MORE: AZ teachers wear red in push for pay raise; future strike a possibility]

They said they want to let the GOP-controlled state Legislature and the governor know that the current salaries for teachers are unacceptable and they want pay raises.

"This is your state, that you’re in charge of, that you took an oath to do everything in your power for and you’re not living up to what you are supposed to be doing," said Angelina Cook, a kindergarten teacher.

Organizers for #WearRedforEd were inspired by West Virginia, whose teachers strike lasted nine days. It resulted in a 5 percent pay increase for them.

[READ MORE: West Virginia teachers cheer pay hike deal to end walkout]

“Our schools need committed career teachers who are dedicated to improving themselves, who are there long enough to make an impact with students,” said Curtis Aylward, a teacher.

Gov. Ducey has said that funding education is a top priority. Back in January, he said he wanted to add $100 million in new K-12 education funding to help restore the school capital funding. He also called for raises in his State of the State address.

But the teacher salary increases he proposed would only be a couple of percentage points during several years.

[READ MORE: Gov. Ducey plans to add $100M in capital funding for schools]

Ducey said during his KTAR interview that per-student spending was up 10 percent while teacher pay was up 4.4 percent. But he acknowledged it wasn't enough, praising teachers for what they do in the classroom and promised to stay focused on the problems.

Teachers at the protest said they hope the state is working on a 10 percent raise, not the rumored 1 percent.

"I do hear them and 80 percent of money in the new budget will go to K-12 education,” said Ducey.

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