Arizona teachers to rally at Capitol during walkout

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On Thursday, April 19, educators held a strike vote which resulted in the Arizona Education Association and the Arizona Educators United to announce that teachers will walk off the job on April 26. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) On Thursday, April 19, educators held a strike vote which resulted in the Arizona Education Association and the Arizona Educators United to announce that teachers will walk off the job on April 26. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Wednesday was the last day of classes for thousands of Arizona students as teachers are holding a state-wide walkout starting Thursday.

[SLIDESHOW: Teachers march is sea of red in downtown Phoenix]

Teachers will not show up for work Thursday, April 26 and Friday, April 27 causing most school districts to close.

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

According to the Arizona Education Association, educators will meet at Chase Field starting at 10 a.m. on Thursday and march to the state Capitol at 11 a.m. where they will hold a rally at 1:30 p.m. to demand higher pay and more school funding.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona Schools in Crisis]

Anyone participating in the march is being asked to park at Chase Field and then use Valley Metro, Uber, Lyft or one of the free shuttle buses to get back to their cars at the end of the day. Another option is to use the light rail park and ride lots and ride the light rail to the downtown area. 

[RELATED: Arizona school districts release plans for teacher walkout]

According to the City of Phoenix, street restrictions and closures will take place between 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. in the area from Washington to Lincoln streets and from First Street to 17th Avenue.

All streets at the start of the march, near Chase Field, should be open by 1 p.m. and roads near the ending of the march, the state Capitol, should be unrestricted by 5 p.m.

The walkouts come after weeks of protests and after Gov. Doug Ducey suggested a 20 percent pay raise by 2020. 

Educators say Ducey's plan does not meet all of their demands, including more school funding and raises for support staff. 

The teachers voted to walk out last Thursday.

[READ MORE: Where to take your child during teacher walkouts]

Joe Thomas, president of the AEA, said 78 percent of the teachers voted for a walkout. About 57,000 teachers submitted ballots. He didn't say how long the walkout would last.

Ducey responded to the walkout last Thursday with a tweet saying that if the schools shut down, "our kids are the ones who lose out."  

The rally is expected to take place at the Capitol on Friday as well. Both of these days will be very hot so anyone participating should prepare for the heat with lots of water and sunscreen.

[RELATED: Q&A: How walkout by Arizona teachers is expected to play out]

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