PHOENIX — Gov. Doug Ducey unveiled a new plan to attract more teachers to Arizona during his annual State of the State address on Monday.
During his education-heavy speech, Ducey said Arizona schools are improving through the hard work of both students and teachers, but it’s the latter who will benefit most under his new plan.
“I want the teachers of our state to know you make the difference,” he said. “I value your work, and it’s time we return the favor.”
Just days prior to Ducey’s speech, a study said more than 2,000 teaching positions were open in Arizona. Ducey said he hopes his plan will make a healthy dent in that number.
Under the new plan, Arizona teachers will receive a raise and the state budget will include a “permanent, lasting salary increase” that will go further than overrides, district budget increases or Proposition 123 funds. The pay hike will not cause an increase in taxes.
“This is an investment by the state of Arizona in recognizing and rewarding the work of our teachers in a way that is fair, permanent and fiscally responsible,” Ducey said.
Ducey asked the state’s three universities to team up and form an Arizona teaching academy, where people can learn to become teachers without the fear of student loan debt and have a guaranteed job waiting.
He also called for a $1,000 signing bonus for teachers willing to work in a low-income school and removing the state’s teacher certification process. Instead, Ducey wants school boards, superintendents and school boards to be in charge of hiring.
“Let’s lift this burden from our teachers, attract new quality individuals into the classroom,” he said.
Ducey also said his budget, scheduled to be released Friday, will demand an increase in public school spending each year he is in office and plans to shift “the bulk” of extra money to schools when it’s available.
His budget will also send money to schools with the lowest incomes to expand full-day kindergarten and establish high-speed internet connections at rural and tribal schools.
Ducey also said he wants to offer a per-pupil boost for excelling schools and several other ideas, though he did not expand.
“We have a plan to prioritize K-12 education in a serious and thoughtful way and we’ve only just begun,” he said.
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments
- Here’s why Gaydos went tankless with his water heater
- 12 things to watch before the Oscars
- Bocce ball and basketball: How you can help Arizona's Special Olympics athletes
- Tips on building the best wine room in Arizona
- Avoid the nightmare: 6 tips to choose a great contractor
- Breast cancer: Improved testing and treatments means more survivors
- Best and worst of Super Bowl commercials
- Failed back surgery: New hope for patients living in pain
- Ticking time bombs: Telltale signs your water heater is about to explode
- Reading glasses could be a thing of the past
- 6 cool ways teachers are using technology in the classroom
- Emerging tech jobs in Phoenix and how to get one in 2017
- 4 top treatments athletes use for pain
- Emergency! What to do when bathrooms flood
- Operation Santa Claus needs holiday help
- This college bowl season is likely to be epic
- Arizona kids in crisis: How you can help
- 11 holiday classics for the ultimate movie marathon
- New treatment offers hope for migraine sufferers
- 11 stadiums to watch your favorite football team
- Shopping for a TV? Best models for 2016
- The new beer pairing guide for holiday foods
- Avoid this holiday plumbing disaster in your home
- 7 tips to avoid holiday weight gain
- New treatments mean better prostate cancer survival rates
- 5 of the scariest things found in drains
- 6 tips to create the best family movie night
- New bone marrow procedure holds promise for healing pain
- Gunshot strikes campus building at south Georgia university
- Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul lashes out at Sen. John McCain over ‘dictator’ comment
- Grand Canyon Railway ranked among most beautiful train rides in America
- Rain, rain, go away: Arizona fire department uses drone to capture post-storm beauty
- Supreme Court weighs case of Mexican boy slain across border