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Arizona lawmaker proposes temporary sales tax for education funding

Arizona teachers protest their low pay and school funding in front of a local radio station waiting for Republican Gov. Doug Ducey to show up for a live broadcast Tuesday, April 10, 2018, in Phoenix. Arizona teachers are threatening a statewide walkout, following the lead of educators in other states. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

LISTEN: Arizona lawmaker proposes idea for more education funding

PHOENIX — An Arizona lawmaker said he has an idea to generate more money for Arizona public schools and teacher salaries.

State Rep. Noel Campbell, R-Prescott, said he will propose a temporary one-cent sales tax. The money created from that would go solely to education.

“We need to do that if we’re serious about taking care of our kids and giving them the best education we possibly can,” he said.

This comes as teachers were planning to walk out of their classrooms on Thursday to call for higher wages.

Campbell said his proposal would not only give school districts funds to increase teacher pay, it would also provide districts more money to cover other needs.

It would also create new dollars to fund full-day kindergarten, workforce development programs, and help lower in-state tuition at the state’s public colleges and universities.

“I believe in the final goal of my proposal,” Campbell said. “It’s just a matter of do we have the willpower to tax ourselves for three years?”

He said during the three years, lawmakers could work on a long-term plan to fund education.

Campbell said he has not introduced legislation outlining his proposal, but he has talked about it with other lawmakers.

“Everybody here realizes that teachers need to be paid more,” he said. “We know we need to put more money into public education. The question is how do we do it?”

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