Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey meets with educators that marched on Thursday
PHOENIX — After more than 50,000 people marched to the Arizona Capitol Thursday afternoon, a statement from the governor’s office said Gov. Doug Ducey had met with multiple people from around the state.
“The governor met this afternoon with 10 educators — teachers, counselors, school psychologists — from around the state who were here at the Capitol for the RedforEd march,” the statement read.
It went on to say that the meeting was positive, he listened to their concerns and explained his plan. The educators were also encouraged to share their experiences and thoughts on the RedforEd movement.
An Arizona lawmaker says majority Republican leaders in the House have agreed to support Gov. Doug Ducey’s plan for a 20 percent teacher raise by 2020 that doesn’t address other demands of striking educators.
State Rep. David Livingston, who leads the House Appropriations Committee, says the deal reached Thursday with the GOP governor should result in a formal budget plan next week. Livingston and his counterpart in the Senate, John Kavanagh, say there are still details to work out.
Livingston says he believes teachers will go back to work when they see the deal gives them a big raise.
State Sen. Steve Farley, the assistant minority leader, expressed frustration that the majority hasn’t worked with Democrats on a solution.
“I think everybody’s agreed now, a 20 percent teacher raise is what we need to do, and a 20 percent into the future, not a 9 percent this year and maybe another 10 percent later down the line,” Farley told KTAR 92.3 FM.
“That means we need to back it up with revenues.”
Earlier Thursday, Ducey told KTAR 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News he was spending the day working on a plan to get them back in the classroom.
“I want to solve this and get teachers back in school,” Ducey said. “I’m ready to sign that budget today.”
Ducey’s proposal offered teachers a 20 percent raise to be spread over two years and more funding for schools.
He encouraged people to go online to let their legislators know they wanted a deal made.
“We’re going to get $100 million for support staff and other needs. … If there’s still a teacher’s strike, I don’t think that will make sense to parents, I don’t think that will make sense to kids.”
Hundreds of schools closed because of the walkout. Facing staff shortages, a number of district officials said their campuses would be shut down until the walkout ended.
Another demonstration was planned Friday at 9 a.m. This time, shuttles will take participants to the Capitol.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.