PHOENIX (KSAZ) - The #RedforED movement says they have five major demands, including better pay for teachers and support staff, and a billion-dollar investment in education spending. At the capitol, lawmakers are now trying to figure out how, and if, they can fund those demands.
Several Democratic lawmakers gave Governor Doug Ducey a letter Tuesday, listing the options they see fit to bring this revenue in for teacher pay, along with other demands. They say the current plan is not sustainable, but some on the other side say it's the demands of the teachers that are unsustainable.
State Rep. Rebecca Rios, along with several other Democratic law makers, delivered the letter to Gov. Ducey Tuesday morning. The letter claiming Ducey's current plan to raise teacher pay by 2020 isn't sustainable or long term.
State Rep. Rios says they have solutions to fix the problem, but the governor isn't listening.
"You look at taxing high income earners that they should pay their fair share. We do not need more sales taxes. Beginning to look at reigning in again some of that $13.5 billion that we forego every year because of special interest that have come to the legislature, and carved out tax exemptions for themselves," said Rios.
"I think this was always political," said Republican State Sen. John Kavanagh. "I think the fact that they wee endorsing gubernatorial candidates on the Democrat side early on, that they keep moving the goal post to keep the heat on the governor."
State Sen. Kavanagh says meetings have been held daily to come up with a plan. He says Thursday will be a very dark day for Arizona, and a walkout is unnecessary.
"They moved the goal post because they discovered their initial ask was granted by the Governor very quickly, which would have caused them to go back to their schools happily and teach the children that they're now walking out on," said State Sen. Kavanagh. "So, they had to create new demands, so they moved the goal post to another $1.5 billion worth, which is unobtainable. They would have to go to the voters for that."
The Governor has said he will be meeting with both sides of the isle on the issue. His plan currently relies on higher than expected state revenue to be able to give teachers that 20% raise by 2020.