[Editor:  We are all in for increasing teacher pay, even though teacher pay in Arizona is not as big a problem as it is in some other states.   You can see starting teacher salaries HERE for all states.  The problem with this new plan of Ducey's is that every school district launches a bond issue every two years, always to increase teacher pay. But teacher's never get much of a raise.  Instead, that money goes for teacher lounges, front office staff, infra-stucture or new play ground equipment.  On in some cases, new parking lots with beautiful fancy fences and gates.  The state currently provides over 50% of the budget for educations.  Schools hold candy sales, carnivals and other fundraisers.  The funds for these does not ever have to be reported and does not ever go to teachers or in most circumstances, not even to the classroom for some other need.  Let this sink in: it is said that there is $5billion in unreported funds sitting in individual schools.  No one talks about quality of education, just teacher salaries.  Whatever happened to merit pay?]

Gov. Doug Ducey’s teacher pay proposal is imprudent, if not reckless, budgeting. And it is terrible public policy, setting two precedents that could haunt the state for decades.

Ducey had previously proposed that the state restore what is called additional assistance to schools over a five-year period. The cost, fully implemented, would be roughly $370 million a year.

Now, he is proposing that the state fund a 20 percent across-the-board increase in teacher pay over three years. The cost, fully implemented, is estimated at $580 million.

So, that’s nearly a billion dollars in new obligations for a state general fund that can barely sustain existing programs.

First off, where's the dough?

Take a closer look at budget projections for 2021, when the teacher pay proposal would be fully phased in. The Legislature’s budgeteers estimate that state revenue will be $1.2 billion higher by then. But they also estimate that the cost of sustaining existing programs will be $850 million higher. And that’s without increasing most state programs for population growth and inflation.

That leaves a potential surplus of $350 million. That year, the cost of Ducey’s two new education funding initiatives would exceed $800 million, for an overall deficit of $450 million.

Now, Ducey’s budgeteers project faster revenue growth than that, and current revenue is higher than originally estimated. But that’s not the main way in which Ducey proposes to squeeze his new spending into the existing too-small revenue container.

Plan relies on fiscal gimmicks

The budget Ducey proposed at the beginning of the legislative session relied on $270 million in questionable fiscal maneuvers: borrowing to build new schools, taking money from other state accounts and spending projected increased revenue from hiring additional collectors before the money actually materializes.

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There is also the almost $350,000,000 that Ducey and Company have taken, illegally, from the land trust that they have been ordered to pay back. This puts them and all of us taxpayers in one heck of a hole to start with. Link to story here 

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona/2018/03/26/judge...

Jeff Dewit was right again, I think we should run Jeff for Governor of Arizona, he warned that taking that money wasn't legal and the Judge in this case seems to agree with him. I think we should know where every penny is going and where it has gone in the past. It makes no sense to keep throwing money at problems and undefined fixes with no way to track the financial implications and results for the money spent to address these issues. We had better know where, and how much, money is spent before we increase our spending on anything. It is very likely that millions of dollars, if not Billions, have been wasted or lost with which we could have increased our teachers pay without spending one cent more than we have already. Truth is we don't know who is spending or on what. Lets get a handle on this and see if what I suspect is being wasted can be reallocated to pay teachers then we will know how much we need to raise by increased taxes not just raiding the piggy bank at the "Land Trust" and put in a hole to do it.

Wasn't that one of Senator Lesko's 'shining star'???

Was it? Seems to me she brought it up but failed to follow through and require an accounting. What's the point of spotlighting the problem and then walking away making no changes that will be of use. I think it is time the administrators and Superintendents, school boards, et al had to make an accounting of all moneys they spend. Account for every penny. Any they can't account for is deducted from their next years allotment and an investigation into where the money went opened up and followed through. Prosecutions to follow if stolen, loss of job and banned from employment and loss of pensions if participants in theft. Make it right don't allow theft from the School Systems which we pay for and lets pay the teachers a fair wage. We don't need to make them millionaires but a decent living wage.

I never vote 'for' those bond issues. 

And when 78% of the union teachers voted to strike even though they were promised a 20% raise, they have begun to lose public support.  Especially when you consider their unbelievable benefits, time off, and getting raises for seniority and earning a masters.  Put this within the environment of the state already spending 85% of its budget on education, and I can only include they want theirs no matter what it does to other taxpaying workers and retirees.  Not to mention what will happen to other current recipients of state funds who will now have to have their budget share reduced to make up the difference.

Two reasons in two days that we should NOT re-elect Doug Ducey for Gov. SB1518 where the gov decided to make law and the legislature went along like a pack of lap dogs.  Now this bloated budget with even more money to spend on "education" via teacher salaries.  Betting teachers don't see much of that salary increase, they never do.

Half the state ran for this position last election, no one challenging him this election when we really need it. Could we have elected anyone less responsible than Ducey?  Remember, he ran Cold Stone Creamery into the ground, had a forced sale and employees applauded when the new owners showed up.  He's been that kind of gov too.

The Governor had help, the Chairman of the House Education Subcommittee ---  my opponent Rep Paul Boyer.  

Paul Boyer is a democrat in republican clothing because he could not get elected in that district as a democrat.  He should be removed in August primary.

We must work hard to stop this bill. Also we need to support Ken Bennett that is running for Governor. He has been the Secretary of State and he know how to budget money. 

The battle CONTINUES on legislative give-a-ways to "educators", or those who spew it's for the "public good".  We the public are being educated as well ... as to how we have been raped by the "representatives" ... who forget that we work for our families' and not for them "to covet" our sweat and toil just to keep our homes and income for our self-interest. Those who understand basic economics that we all have at our own kitchen tables know the political class is making us the serfs and indentured servants to them.  E N O U G H !!!

OK, let's do some junior-high math here, including showing the units. The teachers like to point out that we spend $23,441/yr/inmate, but only $7,205/yr/student, but we should compare apples to apples. We care for inmates 24 hrs/365 days, or 8760 hrs/yr. We care for students for about 6 hrs/day, 5 days/wk, for about 36 wks/yr in actual school-in-session time, or about 1080 hrs/yr. So we spend $6.67/hr per student, and only $2.68/hr per inmate. This is just under 2 1/2 times greater. And prison guards have to work 50 weeks per year, have far fewer days off, and work longer shifts. And their jobs are more dangerous, at least by a bit. Why are the Reds for Ed whining so much?

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