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Arizona teacher pay increase moves state to 49th in nation

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — A teacher pay raise of almost 5 percent in Arizona from 2016 to 2017 resulted in a slight bump in national rankings.

Arizona is now ranked No. 49 in teacher pay in the United States, according to Expect More Arizona.

A study by the Morrison Institute for Public Policy showed that state teacher salary, adjusted for cost of living, still lags by more than $12,500 behind the national median.

The increase to No. 49 in the nation may be short-lived.

Oklahoma fell to No. 50 in the nation, but teacher pay is on the rise.

On March 28, a bill was passed to give a $6,100 raise on average, an increase of 16 percent, according to a press release. Then, in early April, governor Mary Fallin approved extra raises between $750 to $2,000, Oklahoma’s News 4 reported.

Teachers and supporters in Arizona have been participating in rallies over the last week. Their demands include a 20 percent raise in teacher salaries, competitive pay for school staff and a temporary halt of corporate tax breaks.

The Scottsdale Unified School District said in a press release that the board voted to increase salaries by 3.5 percent by the start of next school year.

It was unclear as of Tuesday if teachers in the state would strike in an effort to get a larger raise.

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