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Arkansas teachers rally for pay raises in Rogers

<i>KHBS KHOG</i><br/>Arkansas teachers have been voicing their desire for a pay raise. Sunday in Rogers
KHBS KHOG
KHBS KHOG
Arkansas teachers have been voicing their desire for a pay raise. Sunday in Rogers

By Paul Petitte

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    ROGERS, Arkansas (KHBS, KHOG) — Arkansas teachers have been voicing their desire for a pay raise. Sunday in Rogers, they voiced it in person.

“I just hope it raises awareness of how important it is to value our teachers and raise their salaries so we don’t lose our excellent educators to surrounding states,” said retired Springdale school teacher Paula Irwin.

Arkansas Democrats are working on the RAISE Act. It would increase teachers’ salaries by $4,000 using money from the state surplus.

As of now, the RAISE Act is not on the agenda for the special session, which starts Tuesday.

”If we don’t do that during the special session, then for the rest of the school year we are still going to rank 48th in starting teacher pay and that is so disappointing,” said Micah Wallace, president of Young Democrats of Arkansas. “I think our teachers deserve better than being at the bottom of the list.”

Democratic Sen. Greg Leding said his party supports the legislation along with Gov. Hutchinson and a growing number of Republicans. The question now is if it’s enough to be added to the discussion.

“I think we should value our teachers enough where they do not have to get a second job to make ends meet,” Irwin said.

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