Faculty, students protest Apache Junction's school week decision

- For hours, teachers, students and administrators from the Apache Junction School District were outside the district offices protesting a decision that was made last week to go from a four-day school week to a five-day school week.

The teachers we spoke to said their voices aren't being heard, and armed with signs, they took their message to the street.

"It's just kind of frustrating because they're supposed to represent us and they clearly didn't do that," Esther Neiman said.

It all stems from a decision made by the Apache Junction School Board last Tuesday to change from a four-day school week to a five.

"We sent surveys to parents, we sent surveys out to our staff, we had a committee in place and the committee hands down, the data that came down, the committee wanted the four day," Christa Rizzi said.

Rizzi was the only school board member to vote to keeps things status quo.

"We have taken away the last reason for our good, experienced, qualified teachers and support staff to stay," she said.

But there were some who welcome the change.

"I understand the teachers' perspective, but in the long run, it's about the students and going to a four day is compromising our education," Emily Rutkowski said. "Most of us are all athletes and we're at school from six to six, usually."

Regardless, the change has a lot of people up in arms and concerned fro the future of the district.

"It's a complete slap in the face and it's a lack of respect for teachers," Dawn Craig said. "They treat us like we're a dime a dozen and that's not who we are, and I stayed in Apache Junction because, not because of the money, obviously, because I love the students and I love the parents and I love the teachers that I work with, and that's what I'm there for."

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