Some teachers are crying foul over the use of a #RedForEd image in a key state legislative race.

A mail piece sent to voters in the East Valley features a picture taken from the historic teacher walk out in May.

It promotes a slate of three Republican candidates under the banner, "We Supported Teachers."

But some teachers with the #RedForEd movement say the mailer is misleading.

They claim the mail piece gives voters a false impression that GOP leaders always supported their demands for a 20 percent teacher pay raise and more money for K-12 schools.

"We wouldn't have to be out there, I wouldn't have to be holding a banner, if the people who were in power at the Capitol would have been doing their jobs in the last four years," said Marisol Garcia, a middle school teacher and the vice president of the Arizona Education Association.

Garcia says he was holding a banner in the picture featured on the mail piece.

"I was completely shocked and disgusted because I'm holding a banner in it and I didn't realize I was going to be used in this campaign."

House Speaker J.D. Mesnard is one of the GOP candidates on the mailer, along with Rep. Jeff Weninger, and Nora Ellen, who was not in the legislature during the #RedForEd protests.

Mesnard defended the use of the picture by saying he voted to give teachers a 20 percent boost in pay over the next several years.

"We were very proud of what we did in pushing through a 20 percent teacher pay raise, for restoring funding for teacher classroom size among other things," Mesnard said Thursday.

However, Mesnard and other Republican leaders were not supportive of the raise at first.

Only after teachers marched on the Capitol did Republicans vote to give teachers the pay hike.

"I'm not going sit here and say that there wasn't an impact from having all those folks march at the capitol and so I would hope that they would and say okay we did respond."

Mesnard is now running for a seat in the state Senate in a race that could determine which party controls that chamber.

 


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