Facing the threat of a politically damaging teacher’s strike, Governor Ducey suddenly found (or says he found) money in the state budget to give teacher’s a 20% hike, bringing them into the middle of the pack of states on teacher pay. But wait, this year he says he can only find enough for a 9% raise from “nips and tucks” in the budget and “caseload savings.” It also helps that the state is going to benefit from the national Republican Tax Scam unless the legislature does a quick fix to our income tax law.
So, we’ll be watching closely this week as Ducey rolls out the details of his “plan” to fund 20% teacher raises. And what about the other poorly paid school employees, who are part of the #RedforEd movement, the bus drivers, librarians, lunchroom workers, janitors, counselors, and aides? What about the crumbling school buildings. An ethereal promise of teacher raises doesn’t help them or help to rebuild and repair our crumbling school buildings. How will Ducey restore the $1 billion in cuts that never came back after the recession ended?
So, we’ll be watching to see where the money is coming from — if it comes:
- Will Ducey press the Legislature to approve the 9% pay increase as they are rushing to get out of town this week — or will he watch them go and just say he tried?
- Does Ducey plan to divert money from other vital programs — what are those “caseload savings” he mentioned in his press conference?
- What other “miracles” does Ducey have up his sleeve to save his failing re-election bid?
h/t Laurie Roberts for the Miracle headline.