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Arizona Lawmakers Propose Ballot Measure for Teacher Pay Raises

azfam-teacher-raise The average teacher would get an $4,000 pay increase starting in 2025 if approved.(Arizona's Family)
On Monday, Arizona Republican lawmakers unveiled a significant proposal aimed at increasing salaries for K-12 public school teachers. Spearheaded by Senate President Warren Petersen from Gilbert, the initiative suggests a 7% salary hike for teachers, translating to an approximate $4,000 increase per teacher. This measure, intended for the 2024 ballot, suggests creating a dedicated fund for teacher pay raises without resorting to tax increases. The funding would instead come from the state's land trust endowment, a long-term financial resource for educational purposes.

Arizona's educators currently earn an average of $56,000 annually. Petersen highlighted that this pay raise would elevate Arizona teachers' salaries above the national average, significantly impacting starting teacher salaries. He emphasized the state's competitive edge in attracting high-caliber educators through this initiative.

This proposal is a component of the potential renewal of Prop. 123, passed in 2016, with the public voting set for November 2024. If approved, the increased salaries would take effect in the summer of 2025. Senator Ken Bennett, chair of the House Education Committee, underscored the importance of this measure, calling it a top priority for enhancing education in Arizona.

Julie Garcia, a teacher with 12 years of experience, expressed her support at the news conference. While acknowledging the proposal as a positive step, she also pointed out ongoing challenges such as large class sizes that impact teaching effectiveness.

Marisol Garcia, president of the Arizona Education Association, expressed cautious optimism about the proposal. While appreciative of the focus on teacher pay, she raised concerns about the long-term stability and sustainability of the funding. Her stance underscores a desire for enduring and holistic solutions that do not adversely impact other state or community sectors.

This proposal marks a significant effort by Arizona's Republican legislators to prioritize teacher compensation, with potential long-term impacts on the state's educational landscape.
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Friday, 14 June 2024

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