Dear ASBA Members,

Over the past few weeks, several different teacher pay plans have surfaced at the Legislature that contained varying degrees of objectionable provisions, including earmarking inflation increases and redirecting Governor Ducey’s proposed District Additional Assistance (DAA) increase to teacher pay.

Yesterday, the governor announced an increase to his executive budget proposal for K-12 education.

His complete K-12 funding proposal now includes the following:
• $105M for statutorily required inflation adjustment (1.77%).
• $34M 1% FY2018 teacher pay increase in the base level, adjusted for inflation.
• $274M for additional 9% teacher pay increase in the base level.
• $100M appropriation to district additional assistance (DAA), to partially restore DAA formula cuts.

This appears to be a significant plan that aligns with the organization’s political agenda in the following ways:
• Protecting inflation funding from redirection, maintaining flexibility for districts, as agreed in the settlement in Cave Creek v. Ducey and Prop. 123.
• New money for teacher pay, in the base level, where it will be distributed on a per-student basis (not a convoluted calculation based on prior year service, annual salary, etc.), and increased by inflation annually.
• Preserving a separate appropriation for DAA, not pitting teacher pay against capital funding.

What happens next?
• This plan now must go through the Legislature as part of the budget process, including negotiation on how to fund the plan.
• The governor’s office has committed to the amounts of the pay raise, DAA and inflation funding as the final outcome.

What are the potential challenges?
• Sustainability: This increased funding will be added to the base level, and DAA funding formulas, which means it will be automatically incorporated into future K-12 budget projections each year, exactly the same as all other K-12 formula funding. It is permanent in the same sense that current formula spending on K-12 education is permanent.
• Raises for non-classroom teachers and support professionals: The model is based on the same definition of teacher that yields roughly $34M per 1% of raise. The money provided for teacher raises is computed using classroom teachers. Inflation money and DAA money are flexible and would be available for compensation increases at district discretion.
• Funding Sources: The plan will be funded using state revenues, including increased revenue collections due to larger than expected tax collections and savings from other programs that have come in under budget. Budget negotiations with the Legislature will result in a complete state budget that balances total revenue with total expenditures, as it does each year.

This is a good first step in the right direction for public schools. We will continue to monitor the progress and implementation of this plan and keep you updated every step of the way.

Sincerely,
Dr. Tim Ogle
Executive Director

School Safety Update

SB 1519 (protective orders; schools; appropriation) was scheduled to be heard in the Senate Commerce and Public Safety committee on Monday. However, the committee meeting has since been cancelled. This likely means the sponsor is working on a few changes to get more support from members of the legislature. We will keep you updated when it starts moving again!

In Case You Missed It: Webinar Recordings

ASBA held two webinars this week. One on the feasability of implementing a 20% raise for teachers and one on Walk Outs and Sick Outs. If you missed either of them, you can watch a recording on our webinar archive.