Arizona teachers want details of governor's plan


In addition, Ducey stated more dollars are available for teachers and schools due to the reduction of state government operated budgets through strategic efficiencies, caseload savings and a rollback of some of the governor's office proposals included in fiscal-year 2019 executive budget.

Those increases, coupled with the 1 percent increase teachers were given a year ago, would add up to the 20 percent raises and make the average teacher salary $58,130, Ducey said. He said that would ultimately raise the average teacher salary in Arizona from $48,371 to $58,130.

Ducey says the average teacher earned $48,372 past year. "We don't know the funding sources".

Doug Ducey has given in to demands for pay raises for teachers, who have been conducting a month of protests at the state Capitol and at schools. As recently as Tuesday, Ducey called the protests a "political circus" and said he wouldn't meet with organizers.

"It's a good day for teachers in Arizona", Ducey said to open a press briefing. Ducey's proposal didn't include more spending on those items. They noted the governor's announcement did not address all five of their demands. The pay push comes amid a national wave of educators demanding higher pay and increased school funding.

The entire state is becoming impoverished because teachers are fleeing to other states to earn a decent living, leaving less qualified people behind to teach our children, said Tracy Alexander, a Walden Grove High School English teacher.

The proposal rolled out by the Republican governor Thursday doesn't increase funding for other school needs or provide raises for school staff as a grassroots teachers group demanded.

"It feels to me that this was essentially an attempt to stop whatever actions we may have been taking instead of a legitimate groundwork for a legitimate investment in education", he said in the video. "We're not going to be divided", Jimenez said. Elegood and Hoover said they hope the governor doesn't remove money from other public school funding sources.

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"We are continuing our commitment to prioritize public education - without raising taxes while maintaining Arizona's balanced budget", Ducey tweeted Thursday.

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

"As a result of Arizona's thriving economy and a record population of seven million plus residents", Ducey said.

Arizona educators were encouraged in part by successful teacher walkouts in West Virginia and Oklahoma.

Among other demands, the Red for Ed movement, started by the grassroots organization Arizona Educators United, is calling for a 20-percent raise for all teaching and certified staff, a return to 2008 school funding levels, smaller class sizes, and new resources and materials.

Thomas said Ducey's announcement "doesn't happen without the #RedForEd movement and without teachers finding their voice".

He just left out one major detail: how to pay for it. "And I don't think they will. Teachers have seen this maneuver before". They pushed for more funding for students as well.

On Thursday, after thousands of Oklahoma teachers flooded the capitol to demand more school funding for nearly two weeks, union leader Alicia Priest called for an end to the teacher walkout, conceding to reporters on Thursday night that the teachers' demands wouldn't be satisfied after seeing "no significant legislative movement" since the walkout began.