Tag: Arizona Education Funding

Arizona Education Association President Hopes Legislators Focus On School Funding Increases. See more state education news here

| April 9, 2019
Arizona Education Association President Hopes Legislators Focus On School Funding Increases. See more state education news here

Months before a new fiscal year begins for the state, Arizona Education Association President Joe Thomas suspects legislators are not on the same page when it comes to education funding.

Thomas said it would take a lot for teachers to repeat last year’s strike, but isn’t ruling one out if lawmakers do not commit to better funding for education.

“We’re having difficulty hiring people in the state of Arizona, because we have a reputation that we don’t fund our schools very well,” Thomas said.

Continue Reading

Audit finds classroom spending up in AZ, teacher pay below national average. See more state education news here

| March 5, 2019
Audit finds classroom spending up in AZ, teacher pay below national average. See more state education news here

With some new money coming into the system, classroom spending in Arizona has increased for the second year in a row.
New figures Friday from the Auditor General’s Office has 54 cents of every education dollar spent this past school year on instruction. That largely includes salaries and benefits for teachers and aides and instructional supplies like pencils and paper, instructional software, athletics, band and choir.
That compares with 53.8 cents for the prior year and 53.5 cents the year before that.
But Auditor General Lindsey Perry said the instructional share is still 4.6 percentage points below the high point in 2004. And even after adjusting for inflation, total per pupil spending is $177 less now than it was in 2004 and $861 below the high point in 2008 before the Great Recession.

Continue Reading

Arizona Education Superintendent: Teacher Shortage a ‘Crisis’. See more state education news here

| February 5, 2019
Arizona Education Superintendent: Teacher Shortage a ‘Crisis’. See more state education news here

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman told the state House Education Committee that the teacher shortage is a “crisis.”

During her first state of education speech to the committee, Hoffman said when she speaks with teachers they often talk about pay.

“Time and time, pay, competitive pay, is always the top issue. Many feel their pay has even been decreasing over the years,” she said.

Continue Reading

Agreement on school funding ends at whether more is needed. See related education funding news here

| May 30, 2018
Agreement on school funding ends at whether more is needed. See related education funding news here

Arizona’s public education system could use more money– a point few argue against. The disagreement comes when elected officials and education advocates start talking about how to get there.

Arizona School Boards Association lobbyist Chris Kotterman made that observation as he reflected on a proposal to increase personal income taxes for the wealthiest Arizonans.

He recalled a roomful of the education community’s representatives discussing the idea and his own trepidation about it..

An income tax hike would draw too much well-funded opposition to be successful, he said, but don’t expect ASBA to lobby against the proposal.

Continue Reading

From skeptic to champion? Gov. Doug Ducey’s evolving views on education funding. See other state education news here

| May 22, 2018
From skeptic to champion? Gov. Doug Ducey’s evolving views on education funding. See other state education news here

In commercials and interviews over the past month, Gov. Doug Ducey has touted the education funding package he was able to push through the Legislature, burnishing his image as an education-minded governor committed to investing dollars in schools.

Those words stand in stark contrast to how Ducey has spoken about public schools and teachers before this year, when a massive teacher movement made itself known at schools statewide and at the Capitol. 

… But the Ducey of previous times did not face what the governor faced beginning in March. An army of teachers clad in red T-shirts threatened, and then did, walk off the job, affecting more than 800,000 students statewide.

Continue Reading

Your Turn: The fix for 40-student classrooms? These 2 measures in the fall. See related stories here

| May 8, 2018
Your Turn: The fix for 40-student classrooms? These 2 measures in the fall. See related stories here

Zoe Hyde has had quite an awakening in her first year as a fifth-grade teacher in the Washington Elementary School District in Phoenix.

In college, she imagined what her classroom and school experience would be like. … The reality has been very different, and it’s the reason she and tens of thousands of teachers and their supporters protested day after day at the state Capitol.

Continue Reading

Arizona Democrats’ Letter Calls for Education Funding Plan

| April 25, 2018
Arizona Democrats’ Letter Calls for Education Funding Plan

Arizona legislative leaders of the Democratic Party called for a meeting with Gov. Doug Ducey and education stakeholders to come up with a funding solution in a letter that calls the governor’s plan for a teacher pay raise “not sustainable.”

They want to restore the $1 billion dollars cut from schools since the recession and fund the pay raise.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

Douglas renews call for tax hike to fund teacher raises. See related stories here

| January 24, 2018
Douglas renews call for tax hike to fund teacher raises. See related stories here

State schools chief Diane Douglas is renewing her call for a tax hike to provide a meaningful pay raise for teachers even as fellow Republican Gov. Doug Ducey insists it’s not necessary.

In her annual State of Education speech Monday, Douglas cited statistics showing that more than one out of every five teaching vacancies at the beginning of this school year still remained unfilled four months later.

“While teacher pay is not the only factor leading to the shortage, it is a big factor,” she told members of the House Education Committee.

Continue Reading

Gov. Doug Ducey announces plan to ‘reverse Recession-era cuts’ to schools

| January 10, 2018
Gov. Doug Ducey announces plan to ‘reverse Recession-era cuts’ to schools

Gov. Doug Ducey on Tuesday announced a plan he says would “reverse Recession-era cuts” to Arizona school funding.

The governor made the announcement with more than 50 education officials from across the state.

In a news release, he detailed a budget proposal that would include $100 million next fiscal year that schools could use for infrastructure or other needs. He also included $34 million for the second half of a phased-in 2 percent raise he’d promised teachers last year.

Continue Reading