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Arizona teacher group rescinds support of Ducey’s education proposal

(AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX — The teacher advocacy group Save Our Schools Arizona announced Wednesday that it would not be supporting Gov. Doug Ducey’s education proposal, days after one of its co-founders said she was “cautiously optimistic” about the deal.

In a release, the organization cited sustainability issues with the funding for the initiative.

“We support increasing teacher pay and getting more money into the classrooms, but the governor’s current proposal doesn’t put any new money into either those goals,” said Dawn Penich-Thacker, a co-founder of Save Our Schools Arizona. 

The proposal was set to give Arizona teachers a 20 percent pay increase over the next two years. The plan would also pledge $371 million in funding for various improvement projects.

“It moves money around from existing budgets and it relies on future projections for money that the state might bring in,” Penich-Thacker said. “Since those are unpredictable and they’re not new dollars, that is what we cannot endorse.”

Save Our Schools is not the only educators advocacy group to be opposed to the proposal.

Arizona Education Association said the proposal didn’t meet enough of the demands of the Red for Ed movement.

“The educator voice has never been stronger in the state of Arizona,” said Joe Thomas, the president of the Arizona Education Association.

“So now we have to decide, was this hastily put together press conference, this set of goals without any details on how we are going to get there, is that good enough?”

KTAR News’ Griselda Zetino contributed to this report.

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