#Redfored Loses Steam, #Purpleforparents Grows

Listen to KFYI’s James T. Harris interview #purpleforparents member Dusti Martin.

Dusti Martin, a former teacher and wife of former State Treasurer Dean Martin, kicked off the #purpleforparents campaign this week, and already the group is growing. Martin’s group sprung from parents’ frustration with Arizona’s striking teachers and the resulting school closures.

Martin, a fiscal hawk and mother of two small children, joined supporters at the Capitol. With only three hours notice, over 50 of the group’s members arrived at the Capitol to share their concerns with lawmakers.

The group hopes to raise awareness about parents’ educational choices.

In an interview on KFYI’s James T. Harris show, Martin said her group supports Rep. Kelly Townsend’s demand that a provision be added to the budget that would increase the penalty for politicizing classrooms. Townsend’s provision is a result of parents, who expressed concerns about teachers using their classrooms, to promote the #redfored movement.

The national #redfored movement, focused on mobilizing educators to demand increasing teacher pay, is part of the Democratic Party’s strategy to “turn Arizona blue.”

Teachers, union members, and progressive activists shut down #redfored activities at the Arizona Capitol on Tuesday.

Schools across the state have been closed since last Thursday. The school closings have caused working parents to scramble to make arrangements for the care of their children. Parents had largely been supportive of the effort, but eventually began to question why schools remained closed after Governor Doug Ducey and the Legislature struck a deal to increase teacher pay by 20 percent by 2020.