Arizona Teachers To Get A 20 Percent Pay Raise

Arizona governor promises 20% raise for teachers by 2020

And, organized by a recently formed advocacy group, Arizona Educators United, teachers had also discussed the possibility of staging a walkout if Republican lawmakers refused to reinstate about a $1 billion in cuts in state education funding over the last decade.

Teachers in Arizona are getting a 20 percent pay increase over the next two years.

About 50 teachers, school staff and supporters decked out in red walked along Grand Avenue in Nogales early Wednesday morning, hoisting signs that said "Teachers can not live on apples alone" and "Make teaching great again", and cheering as drivers honked their horns in support.

"This is about Arizona's future", Elegood said. "We don't know the funding sources".

It now has more than 40,000 members on its Facebook group. But there are several other items on AEU's list of demands that Ducey didn't address.

Mesnard's plan takes money away from capital improvements - like new books, buses, building maintenance - to fund teacher salaries.

It was a surprising shift in tone from the governor, who has repeatedly rejected teachers' demands for a raise and school funding.

"Teachers, parents, and leaders across this state understand that many dollars put into school budgets cannot be spent on teacher pay when school buses are broken down, health insurance and utility costs are going up, class sizes are growing, roofs are leaking, students are missing classroom aids and counselors, and textbooks are 15 years old", Naimark said. "We're not going to be divided", Jimenez said. "K-12 education is a box that we will never check".

Others expressed outright distrust, saying they planned to continue their activism.

Arizona House Democrats called Ducey's plan a step in the right direction, but said they have misgivings. Since 2008, Arizona lawmakers have slashed almost 37 percent of total state funding for schools, adjusted for inflation, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

"This will pit teachers against air conditioners and that's a false choice for students", Thomas said.

He just left out one major detail: how to pay for it.

The press conference comes after a month of protests by teachers, administrators, students, parents and members of the community during the #RedforEd campaign.

Earlier on Thursday, House Speaker J.D. Mesnard rolled out a proposal to boost teacher pay by 6 percent next year and 24 percent over the next six years.

Arizona teachers are among the lowest paid in the nation, with elementary instructors earning a median 2017 wage of $43,280 and high school teachers $46,470, the 3rd and 6th lowest in the nation, respectively, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

About 30% of classified staff are being paid minimum wage, Buckley said, making it potentially hard for the district to retain them.

"My school is fine but other schools aren't", he said.

March 30: Teachers are striking all over.

Buckley thinks the #RedForEd movement may have helped push Ducey to propose the raise.

She said the governor is meeting the grassroots activists halfway.

"There's a part of me that suspects, what's the catch?"

Mabante, a single mother with 18 year of teaching experience, said she makes $12.33 an hour during a 32.5-hour workweek and also wants to see an increase in teacher compensation.

"I am confident that the Governor and the Legislature will reach a positive outcome for teachers and Arizonans".

Mark Joraanstad, executive director of Arizona School Administrators, said he hoped the governor's proposal is enough to prevent teachers from walking out. He said he would work with lawmakers to find the money.

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