Arizona schools ask for bigger raises for teachers

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– In his recent budget proposal, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey paid close attention to education spending. He promised pay raises for teachers, but some instructors say it’s not enough.

On Monday, those teachers gave him their recommendations.

“We need hope. We don’t just need the money, we need hope of pay,” said 2016 Arizona Teacher of the Year, Christine Marsh.

Gov. Ducey laid out his budget about two weeks ago. In that budget, he proposed teachers get a 0.4 percent raise. That would be about $185 extra a year.

2017 Teacher of the Year Michelle Doherty, along with Marsh, delivered a letter to Ducey asking for a 4.0 percent raise, which would be closer to $2,000 extra per year.

“What I thought at the beginning of my career I’d be making 25 years later has not come to pass,”   said Marsh.

The letter lays out specifics on how to do it. They’re asking Gov. Ducey to invest all $134 million in permanent teacher salary increases by redirecting the $95 million that was labeled new funding for K – 12, as well as the $24 million that was set aside two years ago for achievement districts to teacher salaries. They’re also asking for a freeze on corporate private school tax credits, which will add an additional $12 million in funding and omit this year’s tax cut, which adds $3 million. This will get them to the 4.0 percent mark.

“To take all of the funding that is going currently into different pots of money and bringing it into one pot of money for teacher pay,” said Marsh.

The governor’s office says input like this does help because the budget isn’t finalized.

According to the governors office, Ducey will now be looking over this letter. He will be setting up an appointment with these teachers to review it.

-Originally published by Danielle Miller, Fox 10 Phoenix on 1/23/17 at 8:53 pm

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