Tempe Elementary to lean on staff, substitutes to continue classes through walkout

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Tempe Elementary School District said it will rely on staff and substitutes to stay open. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Tempe Elementary School District said it will rely on staff and substitutes to stay open. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The superintendent says about 35 percent of all of her employees (teachers and staff) voted in favor of a walk-out. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The superintendent says about 35 percent of all of her employees (teachers and staff) voted in favor of a walk-out. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Teachers argued the plan did not meet their demands for a dedicated funding source and increases for support staff. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Teachers argued the plan did not meet their demands for a dedicated funding source and increases for support staff. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

More school districts across the Valley notified parents Monday they will not be able to hold classes later this week when teachers participate in a statewide walk-out.

So far, only one district has confirmed they will be open Thursday. It is Tempe Elementary School District.

[READ MORE: Arizona school districts release plans for teacher walk out]

“We’re trying to be really flexible with employees,” says Tempe Elementary School District superintendent Christine Busch. “I’ve asked [teachers] also to leave sub plans. That’s required by district policy and they’re all very, very good about making sure their classrooms are prepared.”

[RELATED: Superintendent reacts to planned teacher walkout]

Busch says about 35 percent of all of her employees (teachers and staff) voted in favor of a walk-out, and those employees wishing to participate were encouraged to reserve their time off over this past weekend.

[RELATED: Valley businesses offer child care during teacher walkout]

“I guess since all the other districts will be out and not having classes that that’ll give us a little extra support with substitutes,” says Busch. She says retired teachers and other volunteers may be called upon to fill in the gaps. 

[RELATED: Arizona teachers vote to walk out on Thursday, April 26 over education funding]

This plan has been in the works, Busch says, ever since Gov. Doug Ducey announced his proposal to give teachers gradual increases for a 20 percent raise by the year 2020. Teachers argued the plan did not meet their demands for a dedicated funding source and increases for support staff.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Schools in crisis]

“I’ve been marching with my employees. I’ve been at nine of the schools over the last two weeks,” says Busch. “I’m all in but I have to think about the kids.”

Tempe Elementary School District includes 22 schools from preschool up to eighth grade serving 11,600 students.

[RELATED: Exodus of teachers from Arizona classrooms]

As long as remaining teachers and staff can keep up instruction through the walk-out, the district will not have to add days at the end of the school year to make up for lost time. Still, Busch encourages parents to monitor school social media pages for updates.

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