Education group demands better pay for teachers - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Education group demands better pay for teachers

AZ Schools Now delivered a letter to the governor's office, demanding a 4 percent pay increase for teachers next year. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) AZ Schools Now delivered a letter to the governor's office, demanding a 4 percent pay increase for teachers next year. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Arizona education officials cranked up the pressure Monday on Gov. Doug Ducey to fix the current teacher shortage by boosting teacher pay.

In a letter delivered by a pair of teachers, AZ Schools Now is demanding an additional $134 million to fund teacher raises, a significantly higher number than the governor's proposal of $13.6 million.

"We might be beyond the tipping point," said Christine Marsh, a former Arizona teacher of the year. "We are facing a teacher shortage to proportions that I don't think people are quite recognizing."

The letter Marsh delivered outlined a plan to free up $134 million that could be used to pay teachers more money.

It called for directing $95 million from some of the governor's other K-12 proposals, like funding all-day kindergarten.

The group also called for a freeze on income school tax credits ($12 million), holding off on a planned income tax cut ($3 million), and steering money out of achievement districts ($24 million) and toward teacher paychecks.

"I'm always open-minded and willing to listen to our great, dedicated teachers, so I look forward to the letter," Ducey said Monday before the letter was delivered.  

In his budget proposal, the governor outlined a plan to phase in a permanent 2 percent pay increase over five years.

Teachers would see a .4 percent bump in the first year, which works out to roughly $15 a month.

But some teachers say that's not enough to stop their colleagues from leaving the profession.

"You almost don't listen to it, it's so insignificant, they figure you should get 2 percent each year just to keep up with inflation and everything else," said Brendan Mann, who's taught at Osborn Middle School for the past 11 years.

A recent survey of 130 school districts found over 8,100 teaching vacancies that needed to be filled across the state.  

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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Before making the move to television, Welch wrote and edited for the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California. Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona and his addition means 3TV will provide a stronger, more robust political presence in Arizona. He joins 3TV from the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California.

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