Arizona Governor Agrees To 20 Percent Raise For Protesting Teachers

Arizona governor promises 20% raise for teachers by 2020

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

On Thursday, Gov. Doug Ducey announced a plan for a nine-percent raise to teacher pay by next school year, and a net 20-percent raise by 2020.

Next fall: The proposed 9-percent raise for the next school year isn't real yet.

On Wednesday, Arizona teachers staged a statewide "walk-in", demanding an increase in pay and more funding for schools overall.

As recently as Tuesday, a defiant Arizona governor refused to meet with teachers threatening to strike over low pay and said he was sticking with a 1 percent raise proposal.

Thursday's announcement came after more than a month of protests at the state Capitol and at schools across Arizona that were fueled by teacher discontent in West Virginia and Oklahoma. "Are we stealing from another pot of education?"

The odds are stacked against teachers hoping to persuade the Republican-led Legislature and Ducey to increase education funding by as much as $750 million.

At the state capitol in late March, leaders of the group Arizona Educators United demanded not only a 20 percent increase in base pay and competitive pay for educational support professionals but also a restoration of education funding cut since 2008-a move that would cost the state $1 billion.

Earlier this week, the grassroots organization Arizona Educators United told their Facebook members to prepare for a possible walk-out that would close schools.

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The move represents a huge concession from Ducey-but Arizona educators say it's simply not enough.

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.

Ducey said the 9 percent raises, which will cost $274 million, are a "priority" in his budget proposal. But it does bring dedicated salary increases.

House Speaker J.D. Mesnard provided an alternative plan that would redistribute money from school buildings and upkeep and direct it to teacher salaries, resulting in a 6 percent raise next year. He's also said he would cancel some of the planned spending in his budget and use savings from government efficiencies.

Garcia said breaches are a growing problem in the US, and millions of Arizonans have had their information stolen. Teachers did not immediately react to the proposal.

"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 want to get more money into the classroom, more money into teacher pay, and it's always been about how we go about achieving that".

She said the governor is meeting the grassroots activists halfway.

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.

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