Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican, says teachers shouldn’t get their hopes up for a 20 percent raise this year.
At an electrifying rally Wednesday, the state’s large teaching force threatened to strike unless they get a 20 percent raise. Most of the teachers’ ire was targeted toward Ducey who has scrambled in recent weeks to quell the growing movement.
On Thursday, Ducey pointed out to the Associated Press that the state’s legislature is currently debating a budget that provides teachers with a 1 percent raise, a move that will cost the state about $35 million.
“That’s not enough, and there’s more on the way,” Ducey said
When he was running for governor in 2014, Ducey said he would cut taxes every year he’s in office. But those tax cuts have hampered the state’s abilities to give teachers a substantial raise.
One of the teachers’ demands is that the state place a moratorium on tax cuts until the state funds its schools at the same level it did before the Great Recession in 2008.
Despite what Gov. Ducey said, it doesn’t look like the teachers are backing down.
“It’s a slap to the face to all these educators out here who are doing everything they can to stick to this profession,” Noah Karvelis, a teacher and organizer for the Arizona Education Association told the Associated Press. “Doug Ducey will continue to side with corporations and huge donors and give them everything they want.”
The state’s legislature adjourns April 15.
A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.