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Arizona's Rural, Indian Country Teachers Walk Out

Thousands of Arizona teachers are walking off the job this week to show lawmakers how much they want to restore state funding to teachers and schools. That includes schools in Indian Country.

A quarter of the Flagstaff Unified School District is Native American, mostly Navajo. Hundreds of students wake up before the sun rises to take a bus over dirt roads to get to school.

District spokeswoman Karin Eberhard said transportation is a very large part of its budget.

"We are a rural district," Eberhart said. "We transport students from all over the reservation. So that is an extra cost. It's something that we take very seriously and we're very proud of but it is district funds."

In addition to students, many district teachers travel two hours to get to and from Leupp Public School located on the reservation.

Laurel Morales was a Fronteras Desk reporter in Flagstaff from 2011 to 2020.