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BASIS Tucson teachers take steps to unionize, a first for Arizona charter schools

Teachers at BASIS Tucson North voted last month to unionize; the 34-17 vote means they’re joining the American Federation of Teachers.

It’s the first time teachers at an Arizona charter school have taken this step, and organizers say nationally, less than 15% of teachers at charter schools are in unions.

The Show had two perspectives to speak on the move by the teachers at BASIS Tucson North.

Matt Beienburg, director of education policy at the Goldwater Institute, believes unionizing will be to the detriment of the school and students.

Will Slattery, a ninth-grade English teacher and a member of the union's organizing committee, says it’ll be just the opposite. 

The Show also reached out to BASIS Educational Ventures; in a statement, a spokesperson said: “We respect the teachers at BASIS Tucson North and their right to vote on this matter. We remain focused on the best interests of students at BASIS Tucson North, and making sure this school remains one of the best in Arizona and the nation. We will keep working hard to ensure that's the case, while following the law and negotiating in good faith with the union.”

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Mark Brodie is a co-host of The Show, KJZZ’s locally produced news magazine. Since starting at KJZZ in 2002, Brodie has been a host, reporter and producer, including several years covering the Arizona Legislature, based at the Capitol.