Teachers disappointed about pay raise exclusion from special session

Since Tuesday, Aug. 9, Democrats had voiced their plans to extend the session and discuss two...
Since Tuesday, Aug. 9, Democrats had voiced their plans to extend the session and discuss two bills covering raises and bonuses for Arkansas teachers, according to content partner KARK.(MGN)
Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 7:38 PM CDT
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KARK/KAIT) – While there were two things on Arkansas lawmakers’ minds at this week’s special session, teacher pay raises was not one of them.

“Shame on every legislator that chose to end that session early,” said Central High School teacher Roy Vaughn.

Since Tuesday, Aug. 9, Democrats had voiced their plans to extend the session and discuss two bills covering raises and bonuses for Arkansas teachers, according to content partner KARK.

However, by the end of the session on Thursday, Aug. 11, the talks did not happen.

“This is all about priority,” said State Senator Keith Ingram earlier in the week. “The Republican’s priority was tax cuts, and our priority was teacher salary raises. The sad truth of all of this is that we can do all of it.”

KARK said those against the pay raises being discussed said they wanted more time to look over the proposals.

“A lot of the work on all of those issues is already taking place and we’re going to be ready to go when we get back in January,” said State Senator Jonathan Dismang.

A decision made in the people’s house has those outside up in arms.

“School starts literally in a few days,” Vaughn said. “Imagine teachers say just wait until January and we will start teaching. That doesn’t make good sense.”

Vaughn told KARK he fears teachers will walk, leaving behind a business they’re tired of waiting for.

“If educators chose to wait like that, educators would be without a job,” he said.

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