A new survey ranks Arizona as the third-worst in the nation for teachers. The survey says Arizona has the highest student to teacher ratio, the worst school systems ranking, and lowest teacher salaries.
Lawmakers have been squabbling on how to improve it for months.
Now the Democrats at the State Legislature offered their fix. They rejected Governor Ducey's proposal to dip into the State Land Trust Fund. Instead, they want to use non-rainy day money from the state's surplus to inject $3.8 billion into public schools.
Teaching social studies to 8th graders can be tough, but Marisol Garcia says it is her calling. She calls Isaac Middle School in West Phoenix her second home.
So how much did she make when she started? "$34,000," she said.
And how about now, after 10 years of teaching? "$38,000."
"It is a struggle as a mother, my son and I would like to travel and go places like a family, even going out to eat, going to the movies, you have to think twice about it," said Marisol Garcia.
Marisol works 2-3 extra hours a night on grading and lesson plans, she pays for classroom supplies out of her own pocket.
"I talk to my students, ask them what they want to be, very few of them ever say, teacher," said Garcia.
97% of the students at Isaac Middle School are below the poverty level and qualify for free or reduced lunch. Marisol is a single mother with a child in the fourth grade, and her son qualifies for free and reduced lunch as well.
"It is embarrassing, it is embarrassing I went to a top-tier university. And to get a letter from my son's school district saying my son is eligible for that is humiliating, and ironic. I come here and provide for these families, and it is seen as a struggle to provide for my own son," she said.
Marisol says instead of making $30,000 she thinks teachers should make $50,000.
Republicans have responded and lambasted the Democrats' proposal as unrealistic and amateurish as if it were drafted on a napkin.
While the two parties are locking horns, a judge has ordered the legislature to pay $336 million to settle a funding lawsuit by schools, the Republicans are appealing that ruling.