KTAR: Classroom conditions stress the need for funding

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

KTAR News Phoenix reported on current classroom conditions shown in photos posted on social media by dozens of Arizona teachers that included old and worn out textbooks, broken desks and carpets held together with duct tape.

Noah Karvelis, a lead organizer with Arizona Educators Untied, said these photos are a result of poor funding for Arizona public schools. The state ranks near the bottom of the nation for K-12 funding.

A recent study by Morrison Institute for Public Policy found Arizona was one of the bottom five states for per-pupil funding, with students receiving 31 percent less than the national average and also found that when adjusted for statewide cost-of-living, pay for Arizona elementary school teachers was the lowest in the nation while pay for Arizona high school teachers ranked 49th of the 50 states. Teachers across the state have been calling for more funding for public education and a 20 percent teacher pay raise.

Last month, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bill to extend an education sales tax that provides more than $500 million a year for K-12 public schools until 2041. Ducey has also stressed that his budget proposal for the coming year commits 80 percent of new spending to K-12 public schools. But teachers continued pressuring the governor, saying he can do more. Karvelis said teachers want to restore state education funding to 2008 levels, which would cost the state about $1 billion.

READ: Arizona teachers share photos of ‘disturbing’ classroom conditions