PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Friday announced he had reached a deal with majority Republican lawmakers on a state budget that does not address demands of striking teachers. Meanwhile, education advocates filed a ballot initiative to increase income taxes on high-wage earners to fund public education.
The budget deal comes as the Republican governor who is running for re-election ignored tens of thousands of teachers who demonstrated at the Capitol on Thursday and Friday. Ducey spokesman Daniel Scarpinato said the budget deal includes the first installment of a raise that would boost teacher pay by 20 percent by 2020.
It also adds $100 million proposed in January as the first installment in restoring recession-era cuts. School districts could use that cash for support staff pay increases, new textbooks or anything else they need.
"The plan is to address this issue in a sustainable way that rewards our teachers for the work they have done and provides them a pay raise that they have earned," Scarpinato said. "As well as additional dollars that districts have said they intend to use for support staff raises, textbooks, building repairs, fully funding inflation and not playing shell games with other pots of money."