PHOENIX (AP) -- Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is bending to teacher demands that he provide a big boost in pay by promising a net 20 percent raise by 2020.
The proposal rolled out by the Republican governor Thursday doesn't increase funding for other school needs or provide raises for school staff as a grassroots teachers group demanded. But it does bring dedicated salary increases. Under the proposal, average teacher pay would go from about $49,000 a year to over $58,000 by the start of 2020.
“Arizona teachers are the biggest difference-makers in the lives of Arizona’s children, and we need to reward them for their hard work — this plan does that through a 20 percent increase by school year 2020,” said Gov.Ducey. “We are also making significant investments in Arizona classrooms in a responsible and sustainable way. We will never stop our commitment to improving Arizona’s public education system because when it comes to our kids, we must never stop working for them.”
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.
Arizona teachers are among the lowest paid in the nation and have been emboldened by pay increases won by educators in west Virginia and Oklahoma in recent weeks.
Education is our top priority in Arizona. That’s why we are putting forth a plan to give teachers a 20% pay increase by the 2020 school year, with a 9% increase THIS year. View the plan here: https://t.co/ZkfXlQhJjx #AZEducation— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) April 12, 2018
DEVELOPING: House Speaker @JDMesnard's office confirms he is proposing giving teachers in AZ a 20% pay raise by 2022, 24% raise by 2023. And we have just learned @dougducey is having a news conference today, we believe regarding teacher pay. #RedForEd— Marc Martinez (@marcfox10) April 12, 2018