Tag: Arizona Capitol Times

Statewide news: Ducey signs education budget bill on day six of teacher walkout. See related stories here

| May 3, 2018
Statewide news: Ducey signs education budget bill on day six of teacher walkout. See related stories here

On day six of the teacher walkout, the Arizona House of Representatives and Senate both passed an education budget bill which includes Gov. Doug Ducey’s plan of 20 percent teacher pay raises by 2020.

The bill then went to Gov. Doug Ducey who signed it almost immediately.

“Signed,” Ducey tweeted. “Teacher raises are on the way.”

But teachers at the Capitol Thursday morning are not happy, saying it’s not enough. They’re already preparing for November.

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Senate approves watered down gun bill. See related story here

| May 2, 2018
Senate approves watered down gun bill. See related story here

State senators voted Tuesday for what was crafted as a comprehensive school and public safety plan — but not before Republicans removed a key provision designed to take guns away from dangerous people.

SB 1519, approved on a 17-13 party line vote, still al lows police to ask a judge to have someone brought in for mental evaluation. And judges remain able to order temporary removal of weapons if there is “clear and convincing evidence” the person is a danger to self or others.

But Sen. Steve Smith, R-Maricopa, took out language which also would have allowed family members, school administrators, probation officers, behavioral health professionals, roommates and “significant others” to go to court to seek what are known as Severe Threat Orders of Protection.

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#RedForEd organizers: Arizona teachers will vote on walkout. See related stories here

| April 18, 2018
#RedForEd organizers: Arizona teachers will vote on walkout. See related stories here

Teachers across the state will vote this week on whether to walk out for more education funding, according to Arizona Educators United, the grassroots group coordinating the #RedForEd movement.

Organizers late Sunday said educators would vote in person Tuesday through Thursday to determine whether they would follow the lead of teachers in West Virginia, Oklahoma and Kentucky.

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House leaders offer teacher pay raise plan. See related stories here

| April 18, 2018
House leaders offer teacher pay raise plan. See related stories here

Republican House leadership is backing a plan to give teachers a 6-percent pay bump next year at the expense of Gov. Doug Ducey’s proposal to restore cuts to K-12 school capital funding.

Buffeted by protesting teachers, who have threatened to strike if the Legislature doesn’t provide a sizable increase in funding for Arizona public schools to bankroll salary hikes, Republican lawmakers see the proposal as a means of changing the narrative that state legislators have failed to provide teachers a decent wage.

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Allhands: Forced recess in Arizona? Now, this is a mandate I can get behind. See other state education news here

| April 11, 2018
Allhands: Forced recess in Arizona? Now, this is a mandate I can get behind. See other state education news here

If you care about your kid’s grades, you’ll applaud the new mandate for two school recess periods each day.

Gov. Doug Ducey signed Senate Bill 1083 last week. The bill applies to both district and charter schools in kindergarten through third grade initially and kindergarten through fifth grade after August 2019.

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Arizona Teachers Willing to Set Walkout Date: ‘We Must Do Whatever We Can.’ See related stories here

| April 4, 2018
Arizona Teachers Willing to Set Walkout Date: ‘We Must Do Whatever We Can.’ See related stories here

The Arizona teachers in the grassroots #RedForEd movement are moving closer to a statewide school walkout. Leaders have said that they’re willing to set a walkout date, and they’re framing a school “walk-in” protest next week as a dry run for a walkout.

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Thousands take part in student-led March for Our Lives to protest gun violence (+ Video, Slideshow). See related stories here

| March 28, 2018
Thousands take part in student-led March for Our Lives to protest gun violence (+ Video, Slideshow). See related stories here

Thousands of students and other community members took part Saturday morning in the student-organized March for Our Lives at the Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix to protest gun violence and urge legislators to provide more funding for school counselors and mental health services.

The rally at the Capitol was one of more than hundreds of similar student-led events held across the nation on Saturday in response to the shooting that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla on Feb. 14, 2018.

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Voters can decide whether to keep school-voucher expansion, Arizona Supreme Court rules. See related stories here

| March 21, 2018
Voters can decide whether to keep school-voucher expansion, Arizona Supreme Court rules. See related stories here

The Arizona Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that voters get to have a say on Proposition 305, a ballot initiative that asks if they want to keep or do away with an expansion of the state’s school voucher-style program. 

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Legislators consider bills to permanently extend Prop. 301. See related stories here

| March 21, 2018
Legislators consider bills to permanently extend Prop. 301. See related stories here

Legislators are trying to send a bill to the governor this week that would permanently extend Prop. 301, protecting a critical revenue stream that expires in 2021 that public schools rely on when creating their budgets.

In 2016, district and charter schools received about $364.1 million of the $643.8 million generated by Prop. 301, a six-tenths of a cent sales tax approved by voters in 2000. Since sales tax revenues are affected by the economy, the money that schools receive from Prop. 301 varies each year.

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New proposed tax cuts abound as need for K-12 funds persists. See related stories here

| March 14, 2018
New proposed tax cuts abound as need for K-12 funds persists. See related stories here

Gov. Doug Ducey won’t promise to veto new tax cuts even as he says the state is putting as much money as it can into public education.
In fact, the governor is already committed to sign at least one measure that will cut state revenues by up to $15 million a year.
The issue arises amid rising complaints from teachers and educators that the state is short-changing public schools. That comes not only because per student funding is actually less than it was a decade ago after inflation is taken into account but that teacher salaries in Arizona are at or near the bottom of the nation.

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