Goldwater Institute Regrets State Board Of Ed Dodge Of Teacher Strike Issue

A new policy memo published by the Goldwater Institute lays out the legal concerns surrounding the illegal teacher strike that occurred this year and how the Arizona Board of Education can act to prevent future school closures.

According to the Goldwater Institute’s memo, while the strikes had financial and educational repercussions for parents and teachers, the legal ramifications of the strikes are also “disturbing.”

Because it is unlawful for public employees to strike—and the Arizona Constitution guarantees the state’s kids a right to an education, school districts that participate in such strikes by shutting down schools are denying the constitutional right to an education to “those too young to pay taxes and who have no vote.”

Both the Arizona Court of Appeals and the Arizona Attorney General have issued opinions agreeing with that perspective.

The Goldwater Institute memo argues that when the illegal #RedForEd school closures occurred this past spring, Arizona school districts were all too accommodating, with some districts even choosing to remain closed when teachers wanted to return to work.

The Goldwater memo maintains that it is the responsibility of the State Board of Education to enforce the law.

“The #RedForEd school shutdowns were blatantly illegal, and the State Board of Education has the power to discipline those public school employees who have engaged in illegal conduct,” said Goldwater Institute Vice President for Litigation Timothy Sandefur, who authored the memo. “The Board ought to take action to prevent unlawful activity that jeopardizes students’ education.”

The State Board of Education was expected to discuss legal strategies for dealing with unlawful strikes at its June 25 meeting, but that item was removed from the agenda at the last moment. “We’re disappointed that this discussion was pulled,” said Sandefur. “The Board has both the power and the duty to ensure that there are no repeats of these illegal school closures, and we hope the Board will take up this important issue at a future meeting,” Sandefur said.


  1. Laws are for thee not for me. The progressive leftists believe they can pick and choose which laws they will obey.

    • What about our lily-livered Governor Ducey who rewarded the illegal striking teachers, and the complicit school boards which accommodated the strikers, by increasing education funding for his personal political advantage rather than face the real issue, the illegal strike by the teachers? The increase in education funding was forced on the legislature by the Governor at the last minute, with little serious debate of its merits by the legislature and clearly mainly in response to the redfored initiated strike and was accomplished even as the strike was on-going. Given Governor Ducey`s dictatorial management style and past practices, does anyone doubt that he pressured the State Board of Education to drop the agenda item of the illegal strike and what to do about it, from the Board`s agenda, all in the interest of his re-election campaign? As is often the case with politicians, Governor Ducey`s political demise will likely be the result not only of his bone headed misdeeds such as rewarding illegal strikers, but of his need to cover up and distract voters from such failings.

  2. Students would learn more staying home listening to talk radio rather than go to TUSD schools. They are merely government indoctrination centers for hate whitey & we’re really Mexico.

  3. There was a time, not so long ago, when any strike was “illegal.” But the withholding of their labor is the only way working people can counter the power of their employers, whether they be corporate taskmasters or school boards or the state political power structure.

    • Except when governments hold monopolies, be they temporary or permanent, and “public trust” is involved. With your view, one better hope firefighters do not decide to go “on strike” when you need them most.

    • Albert, you know that I disagree with you about strikes in the PUBLIC sector, not the private sector. The only people that get hurt in the private sector strike is the striker that won’t make any of that money back. HOWEVER in the public sector, these people signed contracts and cost the taxpayer hundreds of thousands of dollars in salary that they did not earn. Public strikes never end well and I referenced the strike of the firefighters at the Dayton Fire Department in the 70’s. Your signed contact is your word and the teachers went back on their words. They should have been disciplined but NO, the taxpayer and the very students that they profess to support paid the price, not a private industry and shareholders. The public paid for this strike Albert and once again the taxpayer got taken advantage of because our illustrious governor has no sack. (Hope you are doing as well as could be expected with the cancer)

    • Lannon, the withholding of their labor is the only way working people can counter the power of their employers, whether they be corporate taskmasters or school boards or the state political power structure.

      Your statement is an out and out LIE – they had meetings, they had contract negotiations, they agreed to and signed the contract – they have now BROKEN THAT TRUST AND CONTACT and should be terminated for such actions. The appropriate time for them to strike or attain additional funding would be at the term of the contact they agreed to.

      Its like you bought a car for 10,000.00 dollars and two years into the contract the vendor said, oh I didn’t sell that car to you for enough profit (money) so I’m changing this contact by force, they tow it away unless you agree to pay the higher price. That’s what “REDFORED” Did. Nothing more than a heist of taxpayer dollars… which they agreed to and signed to do.

      BTW – I’ve worked in education, my family members were educators in this system, both retired after long and wonderful careers for them both. There’s much more to be a teacher than just teaching for 9 months per year. I so thank my mentor teacher for the education he provided me in my younger years when I was developing my career choice, before it was too late and I was committed to this system. I would say many teachers fell into this system not understanding what that would mean to them in latter years in a financial sense. It’s not an easy job, it’s a dismal system to work for, excellence is not rewarded, I would agree they are underpaid.. this strike was simply illegal.

  4. Dumbass Douchey should have ordered their mass firing just as Reagan ordered the firing of striking PATCO air traffic controllers in 81′.
    While teachers have a right to strike, while under contract during the school year was not the time. Hold up the start of next years school year would have gathered far greater public support.
    The entire incident makes teachers look criminally greedy, school district’s that remained closed showed their real interest isn’t in the needs of kids and willing facilitators to the strike appeared to be littler more then useful idiots and the Govonor impotent on leadership.

    The Oracle

    • The provokers behind the “redfored’ chaos wanted chaos. They expected Ducey to tell them to take a hike. They were looking forward to creating much more disruption than what we had, at the expense of our children, parents, teachers and school system, alto make a Republican Governor look bad and mean and whatever.
      I’m glad he was able to find a way to take care of it.
      Gov. Ducey gave them what they wanted several time and they STILL WENT ON STRIKE.
      Only in states where there are Republicans in power at the state level did they organize and roll out their “protests”.
      And here the Democrats in the state house were doing everything they could to stop the bills from passing through and get to Gov Ducey. It wasn’t about teachers pay and it certainly wasn’t abut “the children”.
      Obstruction. chaos, Unrest, division, this is what they DO.

    • it was not the time to strike, they should all be terminated for the strike actions. CONTRACT BREAKERS

  5. YAY! Prosecutorial Discretion strikes again. I love it when those in charge of enforcing the law get to choose who actually breaks the law.

  6. I signed a legal and binding contract just like they did only mine was with the Military. The difference is they have a union that doesn’t care about contracts.

  7. They should forced to give their 20% back to the state for preventing the fulfillment of their contracted obligation. The only families that suffered during their illegal walk-out aka STRIKE were the children of single-parent, one-income, low-income, multi-children homes who had to choose between keeping a job and leaving their kids home alone. Peeps who could afford private schools, charter schools, etc. were minimally impacted by this politically motivated action. The teachers were well aware of the fallout of such an action and should pay accordingly. Personally, I HOPE THEY ARE ALL FIRED!!!
    I wonder if little Noah has gone back to his roots in gangland Chicagoland yet to get more indoctrination from his owners?

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