losangelesnewstoday.com June 20, 2018

#RedForEd Leaders Question Governor Doug Ducey's Pay-Raise Plan

15 April 2018, 12:15 | Katrina Lee

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey Looks to Boost Teacher Pay 9% This Year, Net of 20% by 2020

Arizona governor promises 20% raise for teachers by 2020

Kathy Hoover, a Kofa High School teacher for 13 years, said many teachers question the source of the funding.

She points out the proposal doesn't specify whether or not all staff at schools will be seeing a raise.

It now has more than 40,000 members on its Facebook group.

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.

Ducey outlined in the press conference that the percent raise is possible due to Arizona's growing population and revenue. He also said he would restore $1 billion in school funding that has been cut since the recession.

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.

The proposal doesn't increase funding for other school needs.

Joe Thomas, the president of the Arizona Educators Association, described Mesnard's proposal as a "shell game" that will force schools to make do with outdated equipment and school facilities.

"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.

SUSD teachers love what they do, but they need the board's support, and the students deserve their support, Kempton said.

Arizona educators appeared mostly skeptical of Gov. Doug Ducey's proposal to give teachers 20% raises by 2020, and the organizers leading the teachers' #RedForEd revolt said it does not change their plans for a walkout.

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The announcement comes on a week when teachers that have been protesting at the Capitol for weeks promised to set a date for a walkout.

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

As Casey Kuhn, reporter for NPR member station KJZZ wrote, Arizona teachers are among the lowest paid in the country, according to federal data.

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

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

Rodriguez, who said she makes around $30,000 in her third year of teaching, also wants to see more funding for supplies, which teachers often have to buy or share.

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

Beyond teacher pay, #RedForEd wants state leaders to increase overall K-12 spending as per-pupil funding remains less than it was ten years ago, KPHO reports. "I would be happy to support those efforts in any way that I can", Douglas said in a statement.

May said it is not enough. If they did, classroom sizes wouldn't be so large, teachers wouldn't be expected to pay for classroom supplies and teachers wouldn't be forced to take second jobs and live with roommates in order to pay bills.

"This proposal does both of those things, so we hope they will consider that as they weigh the necessity of walking out to be heard", Joraanstad said.

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