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Horne urges AZ lawmakers to pass a bill that raises teacher salaries

Published: Monday, February 27, 2023 - 5:32pm
Updated: Tuesday, February 28, 2023 - 9:00am
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An Arizona House bill that would increase teacher pay in the state is moving through the Legislature.

The state’s superintendent of public instruction is urging passage.

HB 2800, sponsored by Republican Rep. Matt Gress, would increase teacher salaries by $10,000 over two years.

But the legislation hasn’t attracted broad support by his party nor Democrats.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne stated in a Monday release, those “who have a problem with details of the bill, should offer productive amendments to help get it across the line.”

Last week, Arizona Education Association President Marisol Garcia stated the bill is, “full of obvious flaws” and urged lawmakers to vote no on it.

In a press release, Garcia stated the legislation is a “deeply unserious proposal” and listed several reasons why, including:

“It fails to cover the full costs to districts of raising educator salaries. When these costs are taken into account, it will actually cost districts money–necessitating educator layoffs or cuts to things like textbooks.

It is one-time funding. If the state’s budget takes a hit due to a recession, as is possible at any time, districts will be unable to adjust teacher salaries and will be forced to lay off staff instead. 

It excludes tens of thousands of valuable educators who are vital to children’s learning — from counselors to special education paraprofessionals.

It utterly fails to deal with the underlying issues affecting public education, including the school funding cap (also known as the aggregate expenditure limit or AEL), the draining of public funds to pay for private schools through vouchers, and the ongoing consequences of decade-long underinvestment in our schools.”

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