PHOENIX — Raises are on the way to Arizona teachers.
Governor Doug Ducey has signed the full #20x2020 plan into law, providing a 20 percent boost in teacher pay over the next three years — including 10 percent in school year 2018 — and a significant increase in flexible dollars to Arizona schools for support staff, new textbooks, upgraded technology and infrastructure.
This package — proposed by Governor Ducey on April 12 and passed today on a bipartisan basis — represents an increase of more than $1 billion in education spending when fully implemented, including a more than $520 million increase in K-12 education spending this year alone.
“Arizona teachers have earned a raise, and this plan delivers,” said Governor Doug Ducey. “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, 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.”
Investments in Arizona’s classrooms include $371 million to fully restore recession-era cuts to Additional Assistance over the next five years, starting with $100 million this fiscal year. These flexible and permanent dollars will be available for updating curriculum, modernizing classroom technology and increasing support staff salaries.
The budget also includes other important K-12 education investments, including $1.8 million to fund career and technical education, $10 million for behavioral health specialists, $53 million for building renewal to improve school infrastructure – the highest funding level since 2007 – and $86 million over two years for construction of five new schools.
This budget was very much influenced and shaped by Arizona school leaders.
On April 10, Governor Ducey met with a group of superintendents representing students from across the state specifically to talk about the impact a strike would have on their schools and communities. During that meeting, they described the challenges of recruiting and retaining staff, and at the same time, managing all of the remaining needs in their schools.
The next day, on April 11, the Finance Advisory Committee, consisting of independent economists, recognized that revenues through March were $262 million above forecast and included significant increases in ongoing revenues available to the state over the next several years. This report confirmed news released on April 9 from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office announcing a 75 percent upward revision to growth forecasts for the national economy over the next two years. With that improved outlook, Arizona could realize over $1.5 billion in additional revenues over the next five years.
The budget does not compromise other essential state services to accommodate our teacher pay package. In fact, it increases the state’s commitments to developmental disabilities, skilled nursing facilities, Medicaid, critical access hospitals, the arts, food banks and higher education.
For additional information on the budget, click HERE.
Investments in the budget include:
$644.1 million for a 20% increase in teacher pay school year 2020; these raises will be ongoing, protected in the base of the budget and inflated
• $304.9 million for 10% teacher pay raise in FY 2018/ FY 2019 (school year 2018)
• $164.7 million for 5% teacher pay raise in FY 2020 (school year 2019)
• $174.5 million for 5% teacher pay raise in FY 2021 (school year 2020)
$371 million to fully restore recession-era cuts to Additional District/Charter Assistance, phased-in over five years
• $100 million in FY 2019
• $168 million in FY 2020
• $236 million in FY 2021
• $303 million in FY 2022
• $371 million in FY 2023
$86 million in cash funding for the construction of new schools (three in Chandler, one in Tolleson Unified, one in Queen Creek)
$53 million for K-12 school building renewal, the highest level of funding since 2007
$27 million in capital funding for Arizona’s universities: ASU, NAU, and UofA
$8 million for resident student funding at Arizona’s universities
$5.3 million for ADE’s Education Learning and Accountability System
$3 million (plus $7 million in federal dollars) for behavioral and mental health specialists to enhance school safety
$2 million for the Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind to enhance the early childhood learning program
$2 million for ASU’s School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership and UofA’s Center for the Philosophy of Freedom
$1.8 million to fully fund the state formula for career and technical education (JTEDs)
$1 million to create a computer science professional development program
Happy and Healthy Citizens
$55 million in provider rate increases for hospitals, the first broad-based increase since 2007
$14.1 million to fully fund adoption subsidies for nearly 35,000 children
$13 million for network enhancement payments to providers of developmental disabilities services (a $1 million increase from the prior year)
$10.7 million to fix a recession-era shortfall in the developmentally disabled program, guaranteeing funding for free developmental evaluation of children, case management, and room and board
$8 million in new dollars to expand the capacity of soon-to-be-built veterans homes in Yuma and Flagstaff
$2.9 million in skilled nursing provider rate increases
$2.6 million to relieve counties of contributing to the State’s Medicaid match
$2 million for Alzheimer’s research
$2 million to increase the level of military retirement pay exemption from $2,500 to $3,500
$2 million for the Arts Commission, an increase of $500,000 from last year
$1.8 million in increased funding for critical access (rural) hospitals
$1.7 million extra State assistance for Pinal, Yavapai, and Mohave counties
$1.7 million to expand abuse treatment at prisons to help reduce recidivism
$1.4 million to expand education services to 486 inmates
$1 million for Arizona food banks to increase capacity, especially those in rural areas
$500,000 for an additional 975 inmates to participate in employment training at Lewis and Perryville
$500,000 for expanded home and community-based services for the elderly
$24 million ($6 million state funds and $18 million federal funds) to construct a new National Guard Readiness Center in Tucson area to improve training and readiness
$11.3 million to eliminate counties paying for a share of operating costs at the Arizona Department for of Juvenile Corrections Offset
$3 million to eliminate the county cost shift for the Arizona State Hospital to treat sexually violent persons
$2.9 million to add troopers to Arizona’s Border Strike Force to protect critical regions in Southern Arizona
$1.4 million for additional troopers on Wrong-Way Driver Night Watch to improve response times to wrong-way and impaired drivers
$800,000 to establish the Arizona Pharmaceutical Diversion Task Force to combat abuse and trafficking of prescription drugs
$600,000 over three years to improve Arizona’s criminal background check system
$25.6 million increase for preventative highway maintenance (for a total of $41 million), the highest level spent in State history
$4 million to develop Oracle State Park in the Catalina Mountains to expand the park to allow more accessibility to the public
$2.5 million to renovate Buckskin Mountain State Park in Parker as part of a three-year plan
$700,000 to expand wildfire prevention efforts
$350,000 for maintenance on 37 dams and other properties owned by the Game and Fish Department