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The Latest: Arizona teachers want details of governor’s plan

April 13, 2018

Teachers at Tuscano Elementary School stage a "walk-in" for higher pay and school funding as they walk into school Wednesday, April 11, 2018, in Phoenix. Teachers gathered outside Arizona schools to show solidarity in their demand for higher salaries staging "walk-ins" at approximately 1,000 schools that are part of a statewide campaign for a 20 percent raise and more than $1 billion in new education funding. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX (AP) — The Latest on Arizona teachers protesting for a 20 percent pay boost and an overall increase in school funding (all times local):

6:30 p.m.

An organizer with grassroots teacher group protesting low pay and school funding in Arizona says they are waiting for details before reacting to a pay raise proposal from Republican Gov. Doug Ducey.

Tucson teacher Derek Harris said Thursday evening that Ducey’s plan to boost pay by 9 percent this year and 20 percent by 2020 is just a plan. He said he wants to see actual legislation and how the governor will pay for it. And he says teachers also want to know if other school professionals will get raises.

Earlier this week, Ducey said he was sticking with a 1 percent raise, dismissed the protests as “political theater” and refused to meet with the group. Harris says at this point, “there’s not really anything to trust.”

Harris is one of a handful of teachers who started Arizona Educators United in early March. It now has more than 40,000 members on its Facebook group.

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4:15 p.m.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is bending to teacher demands that he provide a big boost in pay by promising a net 20 percent raise by 2020.

The proposal rolled out by the Republican governor Thursday doesn’t increase funding for other school needs or provide raises for school staff as a grassroots teachers group demanded. But it does bring dedicated salary increases. Under the proposal, average teacher pay would go from about $49,000 a year to over $58,000 by the start of 2020.

The announcement comes on a week when teachers that have been protesting at the Capitol for weeks promised to set a date for a walkout.

Arizona teachers are among the lowest paid in the nation and have been emboldened by pay increases won by educators in west Virginia and Oklahoma in recent weeks.

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1:50 p.m.

Arizona teachers who are threatening job actions unless they see a 20 percent pay raise and boost in overall school funding could get an increase under a new proposal in the state House.

Separately on Thursday, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s office plans a press briefing to outline new initiative from the Republican governor to boost teacher pay.

The developments come after weeks of protests at the Capitol and at schools across Arizona fueled by teacher pay successes in West Virginia and Oklahoma.

Arizona House Speaker J.D. Mesnard outlined a plan to boost teacher pay by 6 percent in the coming school year, with annual increases that could lead to a 23 percent increase after five years. That comes mainly from redirecting planned increases in school funding directly to teacher pay.

At this point there’s no really anything to trust

He resorted to name calling, which was sad to hear,” Harris added. “We had reached out with him previously and said we’d like to sit down with him and try to work out what is possible

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4:15 p.m.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is bending to teacher demands that he provide a big boost in pay by promising a net 20 percent raise by 2020.

The proposal rolled out by the Republican governor Thursday doesn’t increase funding for other school needs or provide raises for school staff as a grassroots teachers group demanded. But it does bring dedicated salary increases. Under the proposal, average teacher pay would go from about $49,000 a year to over $58,000 by the start of 2020.

The announcement comes on a week when teachers that have been protesting at the Capitol for weeks promised to set a date for a walkout.

Arizona teachers are among the lowest paid in the nation and have been emboldened by pay increases won by educators in west Virginia and Oklahoma in recent weeks.

___

1:50 p.m.

Arizona teachers who are threatening job actions unless they see a 20 percent pay raise and boost in overall school funding could get an increase under a new proposal in the state House.

Separately on Thursday, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s office plans a press briefing to outline new initiative from the Republican governor to boost teacher pay.

The developments come after weeks of protests at the Capitol and at schools across Arizona fueled by teacher pay successes in West Virginia and Oklahoma.

Arizona House Speaker J.D. Mesnard outlined a plan to boost teacher pay by 6 percent in the coming school year, with annual increases that could lead to a 23 percent increase after five years. That comes mainly from redirecting planned increases in school funding directly to teacher pay.

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