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 For many years our state government officials have cut education funding, sometimes through obvious cuts, and sometimes through trickery. Perhaps you have noticed that money being added to the school budget over the past few years is always below inflation. Maybe you recall the statewide budget cuts during the recession, when schools were closed and teachers lost their jobs. You might recall the funds voters gave to schools, which the legislature diverted to the general fund. Teachers in our state are among the lowest, if not the lowest paid teachers in the country.

Our politicians say they support teachers and students. However they are hypocrites in this regard. They are taking advantage of teachers' reluctance to strike by paying them less and less. Maybe our politicians want to drive public schools out of business and privatize them, or maybe they just like tax cuts. Whatever the reason, they have had ample time to bring back school funding if that is what they intended. We saw the teachers' strike succeed in West Virginia and now there are strikes in other states too. If there were ever a time for a teachers' strike in Arizona, it is now. Students may miss a few weeks of classes, but ultimately they will be better off with smaller classes and less stressed teachers. In fact, they should join the teachers and staff on strike and get a lesson in civics and patriotism in standing up to the powers that be when they have gone astray.

WINSTON FREDRICKSON

Flagstaff

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