Republic: State on track for teacher salary raises

Monday, March 12, 2018

The Arizona Republic reported that state political leaders say they already are on track to give Arizona teachers raises through the governor’s 2019 budget. The raise would be 1 percent, or about $500 per year. But the growing movement of teachers demanding more could increase pressure at the Capitol to go further.

There may be room for negotiation: State revenues are nearly $275 million above what was expected so far this year, though Gov. Doug Ducey's office says that extra money already is accounted for in his budget proposal.

Ducey's budget proposes another $100 million in discretionary spending for districts, which they could put into teacher salaries or other needs such as school maintenance.

According to data from Morrison Institute for Public Policy at Arizona State University data, the median salary for Arizona elementary school teachers in 2016, adjusted for regional purchasing power, was $42,474. The median salary for high school teachers was $47,890.

Another analysis, done by the Arizona School Boards Association and published in January, calculated the median teacher pay in 2018 for all teachers in Arizona at $46,949. That calculation takes into account increased spending from Proposition 123 and shows that the median salary increased 4.6 percent since 2015, or about $2,000 per year more.

Even with that addition, Arizona is still far below other states.

READ: State revenues are up — Will Gov. Ducey and lawmakers offer Arizona teachers more cash?