The Arizona teachers union is casting doubt on a deal announced by Gov. Doug Ducey (R) to increase teachers' salaries and funding for school support staffers in exchange for teachers to return to work following two days of statewide walkouts.
Ducey announced in a tweet Friday that he had made a deal with state lawmakers on education funding, including a 20 percent pay raise for teachers by 2020.
#20x2020— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) April 27, 2018
It’s official: We have a deal!
✅ 20% pay increase for teachers by 2020
✅ Permanent, ongoing, protected in the base formula
✅ $100,000,000 in additional dollars for support staff, increasing to $371,000,000 over 5 years
✅ No tax increase
The agreement would also cover an additional $100 million for support staff that would increase to $371 million over five years, and no tax increase to pay for the deal.
"We will never stop our commitment to improving Arizona’s public education system because when it comes to our kids, we must never stop working for them," Ducey said in a statement.
However, Joe Thomas, president of the Arizona Education Association, and Noah Karvelis, an Arizona Educators United organizer, pushed back against the announcement in a joint statement.
“We have a press release and a tweet from the governor. We have no bill. We have no deal. The devil is in the details,” the statement read.
“We know that we have been down this road before. He makes promises that he can’t keep. We just can’t trust him.”
Arizona teachers walked out of classes for a second day on Friday to call for more education funding. Colorado teachers have also walked out for two consecutive days.
Ducey had previously promised a pay increase of 20 percent to teachers over the next two years, but teachers rejected it as unsustainable. Teachers who walked out called for an additional $1 billion for school funding and pay raises for support staff.