Arizona Representatives Discuss Latest Education Funding Plan
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced Monday that he had reached a deal with lawmakers on a plan to give teachers a 20 percent raise by 2020, a plan that’s been questioned by teachers who decided to carry out their walkout even after the plan was introduced.
They said the plan relied too heavily on a rosy economic forecast for the state in the future and didn’t include additional money for support staff in schools like librarians or counselors.
But, the new deal represents an unprecedented investment in K-12 education, and leaves us on solid economic ground, according to Republican Speaker of the House J.D. Mesnard.
Mesnard, who has been negotiating the revised “20 by 2020” plan, said this plan not only provides additional teacher pay, but is also a large investment in K-12 education.
“I think there’s some that want us to take over salaries for teachers and all these other areas. That’s really a district function. We’re about resources and the resources we’re giving in this plan that we worked out with the governor are immense," he said.
House Minority Leader Rebecca Rios said the revised plan will not be sustainable. She remains upset over who the governor is choosing to meet with at the negotiating table.
“Not only has he not included the minority caucus but more importantly he has refused to meet with the leaders of the #RedForEd movement which I just find incredulous," said Rios.
Other skeptics of the plan say the deal does not include additional money for support staff, like librarians and counselors, and relies heavily on optimistic economic forecasts.