Striking Arizona teachers gather at Capitol for 3rd day

Striking Arizona teachers gather at Capitol for 3rd day
FILE - In this April 27, 2018 file photo, teachers rally outside the Capitol in Phoenix, in a series of strikes across the nation over low teacher pay. The president of the American Federation of Teachers is coming to Phoenix on Monday to support Arizona teachers' call for additional school funding. Randi Weingarten will be holding a news conference next to the state Capitol and also she is scheduled to speak at a rally. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)

PHOENIX (AP) — Thousands of Arizona teachers are gathering at the state Capitol for the third day to protest low pay and school funding as many schools around the state remained closed.

Monday’s rallies come as the Republican-controlled Legislature is expected to begin work on a budget package negotiated with GOP Gov. Doug Ducey that boosts teacher pay and some funding but falls well short of educators’ demands.

The budget deal gives the first installment of a 20 percent teacher pay raise by 2020 and begins to restore some of the nearly million in recession-era cuts to a fund that helps schools pay for books, school buses and other capital expenses.

Republican House Speaker J.D. Mesnard says he expects that budget legislation will be passed by the end of the week.