Update: In a reversal, Chandler schools will remain closed on Monday after staff called the district and said that they would not show up to work. Original story continues below.
The Chandler Unified School District announced that schools will reopen on Monday after closing today and Friday, signaling that Arizona's teacher walkout may not continue after the weekend in every Valley school district.
Chandler made the announcement on the district website around 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, shortly after a massive rally of around 50,000 educators wrapped up at the Capitol in the 90-degree heat.
Around 20 school districts in the Phoenix metro area pre-emptively closed campuses on Thursday and Friday, but some have left plans for Monday up in the air.
Chandler administration officials reported that 75 percent of certified teachers and support staff said that they would return to work on Monday in a poll conducted by the Arizona Education Association and #RedForEd group Arizona Educators United.
More than 3,500 Chandler employees took the survey, according to CUSD communications specialist Kimberly Guevara. Sixty-eight percent of certified teachers voted yes, and 86.1 percent of support staff voted yes.
CUSD Superintendent Camille Casteel has spoken out to support Governor Doug Ducey on the governor's previous school funding proposals. At a news conference in January, she praised Ducey's plan to revive $371 million in district additional assistance funds. On Twitter, Casteel shared Ducey's remarks on the strike; a week earlier, she retweeted a graphic that showed how Ducey's plan to give teachers a net 20 percent pay increase by 2020 would benefit Chandler teachers.
Right now, legislators are deadlocked over Ducey's pay raise plan. Even as tens of thousands of educators chanted "Red for Ed!" and "What's the plan, Ducey?" on the Capitol grounds, the Legislature adjourned for the weekend with little discussion of teacher pay raises.
CUSD is known for its well-regarded schools that have a combined student population of 45,261 students as of January 1, according to the district website.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
#RedForEd leader Noah Karvelis did not immediately have a comment on the announcement.
The announcement from Chandler may open the door to other large Valley school districts to follow suit.
Phoenix Union High School District has made no mention of a Monday closure. Another large district, Mesa Public Schools, previously announced it "will remain closed until the walkout ends."
#RedForEd organizers said that they will rally at the Capitol again on Friday morning.