Doug Ducey announces budget deal for Arizona teachers

"I'm disappointed they left. And I understand that there is debt going back that we are paying down", Hickenlooper said.

"We know that we have been down this road before. Arizona is delivering on its commitment to our students and teachers", the leaders said.

The crowds were estimated at about a 10th of Thursday's 50,000 participants.

Arizona leaders dealing with an unprecedented teacher strike are paying the political price for long-festering resentment among many public school teachers who say they are fed up with lagging salaries and what they see as an equally risky attack on their profession: school vouchers.

Gov. John Hickenlooper addressed the teachers shortly after 11:30 p.m. and tried to explain what his administration has done to try and pay down the so-called "negative factor" in school funding, which now sits around $670 million, Hickenlooper said. "So, Colorado, make it great".

One option, Kavanagh said, would be to give school boards more leeway - but only after a public vote, what he called "kind of a shaming". After next year's boost, Colorado will underfund its schools by $672 million a year versus what's required by the state Constitution.

Colorado lawmakers don't have the power to raise taxes without asking voters.

A potentially more troubling sticking point is whether schools will have to spend the $670 million for teacher salaries strictly on that.

"Today, we had one classroom that had cockroaches coming from the ceiling, and in another classroom there is a leak coming from the ceiling", said one teacher. "Most of my income goes to supplies for my kids".

Teachers will walk off the job to hold rallies and other demonstrations at their respective state Capitols. We just can't trust him.

Arizona teachers protest for higher pay and more funding of schools.

It's also been a prominent political issue in Colorado, and in states like Kentucky and Oklahoma, which recently saw battles over charter schools.

"As well as additional dollars that districts have said they intend to use for support staff raises, textbooks, building repairs, fully funding inflation and not playing shell games with other pots of money". She says it is the only way she can survive in a state that ranks 44th in the nation in teacher pay and 48th in per-pupil spending, according to the National Education Association. "You love our kids the way I love our kids".

Gov. Doug Ducey has released a plan that calls for 20 percent teacher pay raises by 2020.

What's also missing, Thomas said, is a demand by educators to restore student funding to where it was a decade ago.

In a statement, the Arizona Education Association, which represents 20,000 teachers and support professionals, said it's still waiting for an actual bill.

"Our support staff has to be supported financially, teachers have to get their salaries at least back to the level they were at 2008, we have to feel that we are respected and we have to have help", he said. No specific end is in sight. Former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) cut income taxes and increased corporate tax breaks, leading state revenue to drop dramatically. The tone Friday was more festive than the day before. It also would raise individual rates 4.46% for individuals who earn more than $500,000. But Ducey's plan lacks an actual funding source, with the governor insisting that the $670 million price tag can be financed largely through an improving economy.

That could most immediately provide dollars for the 19 percent teacher pay hike that Ducey and Republican legislative leaders have agreed to provide by the 2020-2021 school year.

  • Leroy Wright


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