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Legislative session comes to an end

Governor Ducey signs teacher pay and education funding plan (Photo: Governor's Twitter)

What does the budget mean for our teachers and students?

First of all, we commend Governor Ducey and the legislature for working to pass a budget giving our teachers a much-deserved pay raise and restoring recession-era funding cuts. This budget moves us in the right direction, but there is still more work to be done to ensure that every Arizona student gets the best education possible. The 20% pay raise has built-in stability because it’s included in the base funding so it’s permanent and ongoing, and it will keep up with rising inflation.

Here’s how the 20% pay raise will be distributed:

  • 1% from FY18
  • 9% in FY19
  • 5% in FY20
  • 5% in FY21

In addition to teacher pay raises, this budget also includes over $100 million for school employee raises. Again, these raises have some protection because they are built into the base funding — so it will be permanent and ongoing. Other education funding budget items include:

  • $371 million to restore recession-era funding cuts
  • $88 million for construction of new schools
  • $53 million in building renewal
  • $1.8 million to fully fund career and technical education (JTEDs)
  • $2 million for Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind to enhance early childhood intervention
  • Increases school safety funding: $3 million state & $7 million federal match for school behavioral specialists
  • $1 million for gifted education
Make no mistake: the fight for education funding is not over. Yes, today our students and teachers scored a major victory, but we need to take this moment a step further and work to elect candidates who will stand up for our students and support a fully funded public education system

Where is the ELL bIll?

First of all, we couldn't have gotten here without fierce advocates like you. In fact, this uphill ELL battle would have never started in the first place if we hadn’t heard from a local community member three years ago.

We are also grateful for the support of Representative Paul Boyer, who understood how important this bill was. Mr. Boyer is a true Education Champion.

Unfortunately, this year, the bill did not did not get through the process before the legislative session ended. We came up a bit short, but we won’t lose heart. Next year, we will fight to help the 83,000 students who are failing behind. Again, this underscores why we need to elect education champions who will put students first, regardless of political party.

Big win for struggling readers

We’re excited to let you know that HB2520, a bill to strengthen existing reading policies, is sitting on the governor's desk ready for him to sign. This bill matters because, in Arizona, 56% of third-graders cannot read proficiently. While we’ve seen some improvement in the last couple of years, we can do better.

Quotes from the Capitol

“The impact our teachers have on the lives of Arizona kids cannot be overstated. They work incredibly hard to make a difference for their students. This plan not only provides our teachers with a 20 percent increase in pay by school year 2020, but it also provides millions in flexible dollars to improve our public education system. I’ve had the honor of hearing directly from Arizona teachers, over these last several weeks in particular. It’s their input that has shaped and improved this plan. We will never check the box on public education, but this is one big, positive step in the right direction for our teachers and their students.”
- Gov. Doug Ducey

“I am listening to teachers and parents across my district and across the state and working towards reliable solutions for education. I have championed bills to restore and add new funding for K-12, recognizing that we still have more work to do. ”
— LD 28 Senator Kate Brophy McGee

We hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s In The Trenches. This has been the final week of the 2018 Legislative session. Although lawmakers will return to their districts, the work to improve outcomes for all students isn’t over. In the coming weeks, we’ll keep you updated on the heart of our work — our parent engagement program and upcoming elections. Until then, if you have any questions, let us know. 
Rebecca, Stacey, Luis, Martin, Liliana, and Mia The Stand for Children Arizona Team

In order to fulfill our mission, Stand for Children, Inc., our 501(c)4 organization, performs all advocacy and lobbying activities while the Stand for Children Leadership Center, our 501(c)3 organization, manages our parent and family education and engagement programs as well as Stand’s public awareness campaigns.
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