PHOENIX (AP) — The Latest on Arizona teachers protesting for a 20 percent pay boost and an overall increase in school funding (all times local):
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 ,000 a year to over ,000 by the start of 2020.
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.
Arizona teachers who are threatening job actions unless they see a 20 percent pay raise and boost in overall school funding could get an increase under a new proposal in the state House.
Separately on Thursday, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s office plans a press briefing to outline new initiative from the Republican governor to boost teacher pay.
The developments come after weeks of protests at the Capitol and at schools across Arizona fueled by teacher pay successes in West Virginia and Oklahoma.
Arizona House Speaker J.D. Mesnard outlined a plan to boost teacher pay by 6 percent in the coming school year, with annual increases that could lead to a 23 percent increase after five years. That comes mainly from redirecting planned increases in school funding directly to teacher pay.