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Everything you need to know about the Arizona teacher walkout

It all stems from insufficient funding — for public schools and for public school teachers.

On Thursday, teachers in Colorado and Arizona joined the wave of educators protesting across the country against insufficient funding — for both public schools and public school teachers.

The simultaneous walkouts echo similar protests in West Virginia and Oklahoma, and they stem from similar gripes that plague most public school systems across the United States. But there are differences too. In Arizona, the movement is more political than in previous walkouts. And its leadership is less experienced. VICE News' Roberto Ferdman traveled to Arizona, where he spent time with Noah Karvelis, a 23-year-old music teacher, who quickly became one of the national education movement’s most unlikely leaders in the span of just a few months.

"I truthfully never thought it would catch on, I thought I would be lucky if I could get just my campus to participate in it. But it grew. And it became a statewide movement," Karvelis said. "We put out five demands, and basically the demands focus on two really central things: restoring these cuts that we've seen and increasing our per-people funding to the national median, and we're also demanding that educators are paid a competitive wage."

The state said it would increase teachers' salaries by 20 percent over the next two years, but Karvelis explained that without a real funding source it was just an empty promise. And while they might be political amateurs, the teachers say they're holding out for a real offer — and they're hoping it will also benefit other underpaid colleagues like bus drivers and reading specialists.

This segment originally aired April 26, 2018, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.