'Stay on the job!' AZ school superintendent urges teachers not to strike

Posted: Updated:
Douglas said that she does not believe a teacher walkout is the right approach to solving the education funding crisis in Arizona. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Douglas said that she does not believe a teacher walkout is the right approach to solving the education funding crisis in Arizona. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
She said she supported the recent walk-ins on school campuses across the state. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) She said she supported the recent walk-ins on school campuses across the state. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Douglas is asking teachers to give state lawmakers and the governor more time to work out a solution. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Douglas is asking teachers to give state lawmakers and the governor more time to work out a solution. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas does not support the teacher strike that is planned for this Thursday.

In fact, Douglas is calling the teacher walkout unlawful.

[RAW VIDEO: Is a walkout legal and what are the potential ramifications for the teachers?]

During a one-on-one interview Monday, Douglas said that she does not believe a teacher walkout is the correct approach to solving the education funding crisis in Arizona.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona schools in crisis]

Douglas insisted that she supports Arizona teachers, understands their frustrations and has no problem with the recent walk-ins on school campuses across the state. But she said the Department of Education would not shy away from investigating teachers who strike and recommending disciplinary action to the Board of Education.

"I'm not advocating for one way or another, but if parents or citizens file a complaint with the department, we have an investigations unit and I have assured the board this morning, we will investigate anything that comes," Douglas said.

"Is it realistic though to de-certify a large number of teachers when we're facing thousands of unfilled teacher positions?" asked reporter Derek Staahl.

"What you have to recognize is that it may not be de-certifying them. It may be a letter of censure within their file that goes on their record, gets reported to the national database and then if they choose to leave and go somewhere else, it can be something that follows them. So I would encourage cooler heads to prevail," Douglas said.

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

The #RedForEd movement has grown over the past few weeks, as Arizona educators demand more school funding and higher pay for teachers.

[RAW VIDEO: AZ superintendent says there's 'huge potential for [walkout] to backfire']

Douglas said that a teacher walkout could do more harm than good.

[POLL: Would you support a tax increase to fund teacher salaries?]

"I can't even begin to imagine what that's going to do to our students and to our families," said Douglas. "It can have implications for testing, can have implications for funding and it may have implications for graduation for students, and maybe their college admittance," said Douglas.

[RAW VIDEO: Tax increase to fund teacher salaries?]

Douglas is asking teachers to give state lawmakers and the governor more time to work out a solution.

"Stay on the job. Stay in your positions. Show up for work on Thursday. Continue your negotiations with the governor and the legislature," she said.

More related stories

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

Hide bio