Great students deserve great teachers

Nationwide teacher compensation in Arizona ranks near the bottom

As an Arizonan for 20-plus years, who has always believed in the value of a good education, and in offering the opportunity for a good education to everyone, regardless of where they live or how much their parents earn, especially now given an economy increasingly based on information and technology, I find it unacceptable for Arizona to rank near the bottom when it comes to teacher pay.
Granted the cost of living in Arizona is much lower than in New York. Though even after normalizing for the cost of living, teacher compensation is still hurting our future and our children's futures. We must, with laser-like focus, attract and retain teachers that will challenge and nurture our students. Increasing K12 teacher pay is critical if the state is going to succeed at this. 

Governor Doug Ducey has made a push to boost teacher salaries across the state. Although many teachers would say they did not notice a difference in their paychecks, Ducey has recognized the need and has made it a priority. Here are five points we all should consider that will further the efforts made by Ducey and Arizona Legislators:

  1. Add $1 billion annually to K12 funding
  2. Give teachers with three or more years teaching a 20 percent pay raise
  3. Allocate a portion of funding to a 13-week mentoring program for teachers with less than three years teaching
  4. Develop a dashboard to measure student and teacher progress toward excellence
  5. Examine a variety of structurally balanced funding options: TPT, excise, income, property tax 
We can make education better for every student by making it better for teachers financially. A pay increase is necessary to solve Arizona’s teacher crisis, increase academic opportunity for all, and raise student performance.

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