Capitol Conversation: Teachers Ask For More Money

Saul Franklin
April 29, 2018

In the afternoon, Republican Governor Doug Ducey tweeted that he had reached a deal with state legislators for a 20 percent raise with no new taxes. Let them know you won't accept anything less than a sustainable, permanent funding source for education because it's best for the health of our community and our state, and most importantly, our children.

In a surprise move on April 12, Ducey tried to sideline the protests by announcing he had found a way to boost teacher pay by 9 percent this year, followed by 5 percent raises in 2019 and 2020.

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The Chandler Unified School District says its announcement Friday that schools will remain closed Monday is "based on the number of teachers who have reported their absence for Monday". Leaders said they want to brief their members first. Rank-and-file leaders took initiatives to build the social movement necessary to broaden support and to blunt opposition from local school authorities. The supporters rallied in at the Capitol for several hours. State lawmakers worked to the sounds of thousands outside their offices demanding a budget with money for educator pay raises and classroom support. Other critics noted that the plan, as originally proposed, would sweep funding from other programs to pay for the salary hike.

Pringle also announced to the crowd that they are not alone in their fight. "I would like to see new supplies to our classrooms".

Thomas issued a joint response with Noah Karvelis, the administrator of the Arizona Educators United Facebook page where initial protests were organized, stating: "We have no bill". "It's time for us to rally together in Nevada to give our teachers and other employees the raises they deserve..." Former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) cut income taxes and increased corporate tax breaks, leading state revenue to drop dramatically.

But they still haven't finalized a full budget - something Ducey said they will work through the weekend to complete.

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"We feel this is a sustainable plan". Shortchanging public education serves to benefit only one group: the uber-wealthy and, by extension, the corporations that they run.

But he had not secured an agreement with the legislature on those promises until Friday's deal. Forty percent would go to all-day kindergarten and pay raises for support staff.

That will free up dollars that, in the past, have paid for the state's Highway Patrol operations and funding for road maintenance and construction.

Legislative analysts estimate that the new vehicle fee will free up $107 million in state revenues, which can then be spent on education. Of the more than 57,000 teachers, custodians, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, crossing guards and others who cast a vote, 78 percent were in favor. Scarpinato said the goal is to have a complete budget introduced on Monday. At the moment, that underfunding is $822 million a year, $6.6 billion total for the past decade, said Kerrie Dallman, Colorado Education Association president.

Yarbrough, R-Chandler, could not immediately be reached for comment.

While he is not sold on it, Democrat David Bradley conceded the Ducey plan has the support to get through the Senate. The governor calls it 20 percent when the raise for this year is included.

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