Accountability Arizona Funding Resistance Teachers

Arizona: Legislature Passes Budget, Meets Teacher Demands in Part

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Tens of thousands of teachers in Arizona went out on strike last Friday, demanding a restoration of deep budget cuts over the past decade and pay raises. The legislature passed a new budget today that fell short of meeting their demands. 

The strike may end, for fear that teachers will lose public support if they stay out longer.

”The legislation signed by Gov. Doug Ducey (R) early Thursday did not meet all the demands initially laid out by the groups coordinating the walkout, and some teachers had hoped to keep schools closed until legislators committed to a larger budget. But it was enough progress for union leaders to recommend teachers return to the classroom and prepare for another battle later in the year….

”The budget bill gives teachers a 9 percent pay raise next year, which, combined with a 1 percent raise already given, gets them halfway to the 20 percent hike they have called for. Ducey has promised that the second installment will come by 2020, though that is not guaranteed by the package he signed.

“The plan steers bulk money to districts and gives them the discretion to dole out the raises as they see fit, meaning not all teachers will receive the same percentage pay bump. An analysis done by the Arizona Republic found that a minority of districts under the plan will not receive enough money to give all their teachers 20 percent increases.

“The bill also hikes state spending on schools by $200 million per year more than Ducey originally proposed at the start of the year. Still, it comes up well short of the walkout organizers’ demand that funding be restored to 2008 levels, adjusted for inflation.”

So…the districts will decide who gets a raise. Overall funding remains far below what it was pre-2008.

Are the Koch brothers giving each other a high-5?

Will the teachers remember in November and vote out these scoundrels?

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