Arizona Lawmakers Haggle Over Funding Before Teacher Strike

Labor News

In this April 11, 2018 file photo, teachers at Humphrey Elementary school participate in a state-wide walk-in prior to classes in Chandler, Arizona. Tens of thousands of Arizona teachers are poised to walk off the job this week to demand more funding for public education, an unprecedented action in a conservative state without many union protections. A chunky-text look at what’s happening in the run-up to the first-ever statewide strike. (Matt York, File/Associated Press)

Reprinted from The Washington Post by Melissa Daniels on April 24, 2018.

Arizona policymakers have yet to agree how to increase teacher pay or education funding ahead of a first-ever statewide walkout this week, prompting calls from Democrats and even one Republican to generate new tax revenue in the conservative state.

Republicans who control the state Legislature have yet to fully back Governor Doug Ducey’s plan for a 20 percent teacher raise, which would cost $650 million by 2020. Many have shared concerns about the rosy revenue projections Ducey is using to cover the increase.

Teachers have protested for weeks and took a vote on whether to launch the first statewide strike after Ducey unveiled his plan, saying they’re concerned it doesn’t increase funding for classrooms and students.

With Ducey and legislative leaders meeting behind closed doors to negotiate a deal, Republican state Representative Noel Campbell offered a plan for a sales tax increase. He said the three-year boost of 1 percent would generate $1 billion annually. …

Washington Post 4/24

About Jeffrey Burman 2662 Articles
Jeff Burman represents assistant editors on the Guild’s Board of Directors. He can be reached at jeffrey.s.burman.57@gmail.com.

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