Phoenix, Ariz.—The Morrison Institute released a fact sheet on Thursday, highlighting “crisis levels” in Arizona teacher recruitment, retention and pay. This report confirms an earlier analysis by the Arizona School Personnel Administrators Association that indicated the teacher shortage had worsened and warned lawmakers of the need to act quickly.
AZ Schools Now, a coalition of some of Arizona’s most ardent and invested supporters of public education, put forth a meaningful budget proposal that focused available resources on teacher pay raises. The proposal, which was delivered to Governor Ducey and legislators in January, recommended an investment of $134 million to be used for an immediate four-percent teacher pay raise. The monies include the $95 million identified by the Governor in new funding initiatives for K-12 as well as $24 million from “credit enhancement districts.” Implementing a freeze on corporate private school tax credits add an additional $12 million, which grows over time, and skipping this year’s proposed tax cut frees up $3 million more.
AZ Schools Now urges lawmakers to act decisively by prioritizing meaningful teacher pay raises in the FY2018 budget. Hundreds of thousands of Arizona families rely on strong public schools, and these families know that the most important tool for success is a qualified classroom teacher. Implementing a four-percent raise sends a strong statement to educators and parents that lawmakers recognize and are willing to address this crisis.
AZ Schools Now member organizations:
Arizona Business and Education Coalition
Arizona Education Association
Arizona Education Network
Arizona School Boards Association
Arizona School Administrators Association
Children’s Action Alliance
Arizona Center for Economic Progress
Support Our Schools Arizona
Arizona Interfaith Network
Arizona Association of School Psychologists
League of Women Voters of Arizona