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Goldwater Institute Threatens To Sue Arizona School Districts That Don't Reopen

With a statewide teacher walkout forcing districts to close schools, several opponents of the work stoppage have responded by threatening lawsuits. The Goldwater Institute is joining the list of those discussing legal action.

The Goldwater Institute sent letters on Friday, April 28 to school districts across the state that have closed due to a lack of staff. Tim Sandefur is Goldwater’s vice president of litigation. He said the teacher strike is illegal because public school employees are contractually obligated to work a certain amount of time for a certain amount of money.

"They’re also in violation of the Constitution of the state, which guarantees to every student in the state a right to an education and that at a minimum means that the school districts need to keep schools open and operating as best they can," Sandefur said.

Sandefur said districts should cut off pay for teachers who refuse to come to work. He says if districts fail to comply, parents and students will have grounds for lawsuits against the districts and their employees.

Senior field correspondent Bridget Dowd has a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.