As Oklahoma teachers end strike, Arizona governor offers raise to avert one

Gov. Doug Ducey announces a plan to give teachers a 20 percent raise over the next three fiscal years

The governor's proposal includes a 9 percent increase that would go into effect this fall, bringing the median teacher salary in Arizona to $52,725.

"It's awesome what a threatened teachers strike in an election year can get the Republicans to do", Democratic Rep. Rebecca Rios said.

Teachers in Arizona are among the lowest-paid in the country, and lawmakers have cut education spending per studentmore than any other state since 2008 - by 36.5 percent. "This is about Arizona's economy". He also said he would restore $1 billion in school funding that has been cut since the recession.

PHOENIX - Caving to demands from teachers who have protested low pay and school funding shortfalls for weeks, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey rolled out a proposal Thursday promising a net 20 percent raise by 2020 and pledged to push the proposal through the Legislature in the coming weeks.

In future years, the raises would rely on new money available from this year's extension of Prop 301, a major funding source for teacher salaries. He has also said he would cancel some of the planned spending in his budget and use savings from government efficiencies.

Teachers who organized a grassroots effort that drew almost 45,000 members were cool to the announcement, saying they wanted details before reacting and lacked trust in the governor. Harris says at this point, "there's not really anything to trust". Those teachers shocked their state's leaders by surrounding their capitols and demanding funding after years of cuts, setting off similar feelings in other Republican states.

Harris is one of a handful of teachers who started Arizona Educators United in early March.

As now as Tuesday, a defiant Arizona governor acknowledged he was sticking with a 1 % improve proposal. Teachers, students and parents donned red and gathered outside campus before school began to demonstrate as part of the #RedforEd campaign.

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Organizers for Arizona teachers say more than a thousand schools participated in a statewide early-morning demonstration to demand higher pay and better classroom funding.

According to a Cronkite News analysis published last week, Arizona teachers earn an average of $10,000 less than the national average salary of $56,383.

His proposal did not impress some teachers, including Karen May.

#RedForEd protesters demanded an immediate 20-percent raise for teachers and more money for support staff, too - guidance counselors, bus drivers, teacher's aides and others. Hoover said. "He said we can't afford it, now all of a sudden we have nine percent?"

Garcia said breaches are a growing problem in the USA, and millions of Arizonans have had their information stolen. He obviously is a huge supporter of the economy.

She said the governor is meeting the grassroots activists halfway.

Rodriguez, who said she makes around $30,000 in her third year of teaching, also wants to see more funding for supplies, which teachers often have to buy or share.

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