Teachers line Baseline Road for miles as walkout officially begins

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Arizona teachers are officially on strike.

They left school Wednesday afternoon and say they're not going back until they get more money for education.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona Schools in Crisis]

Some teachers wasted no time. As soon as the afternoon school bell rang, teachers from all over the Valley said goodbye to their students and headed straight to the street.

"It was emotional. We had signs out and walked our kids out for parent pickup and said 'We'll see them when it's over and comes back,' but it was emotional," said Gilbert teacher Molly Lancaster. 

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

From the east Valley to the west, supporters of the Red for Ed movement lined Baseline Road for miles to hold signs and drum up support. 

"I've been doing this 30 years and it was hard to walk out today, but it's necessary. We've waited a long time and been very patient, and we're kind of done now," said Dawn Rissi, another Gilbert teacher. 

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

Even retired teachers like Jan Bartelt showed up to support the cause.

"I taught the last nine years without a raise, in fact my take-home pay went down. It's absolutely imperative we get this done," said Bartelt. 

Tomorrow, many of these folks will march again. This time, taking their fight to the governor's front door. 

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

"You bet I will, and I'll be there Friday too," said Lancaster. 

It's estimated several thousand educators and their supporters will gather in downtown Phoenix Thursday. 

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Lauren ReimerLauren Reimer joined the 3TV/CBS 5 family in June 2016. She is originally from Racine, WI but is no stranger to our heat.

Click to learn more about Lauren.

Lauren Reimer

She previously worked for KVOA in Tucson, covering topics that matter to Arizonans including the monsoon, wildfires and border issues. During the child migrant crisis of 2014, Reimer was one of only a handful of journalists given access to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility in Nogales, where hundreds of unaccompanied children were being held after crossing into the U.S. from Central America. Before that, Reimer worked at WREX in Rockford, IL. Lauren is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and still visits home often. When not chasing news stories, Reimer loves to explore, enjoying everything from trying new adventurous foods to visiting state and national parks or local places of historical significance.

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