I wanted to start off by thanking everyone who has been coming down to the Capitol over the past week, and even longer. I saw family, friends, teachers, parents and even some of my former students!
Yesterday, the Legislature adjourned Sine Die and we worked nearly the last 48 hours straight to deliver a balanced budget that prioritized public education. We knew it would be a long few days but teachers, students and parents were counting on us.
Wednesday evening we debated for thirteen hours through the night, and passed a budget that included $273 million in pay raises for Arizona’s hard-working teachers. Governor Ducey promptly signed the education piece of the budget at 6am Thursday morning. This historic budget is part of an ongoing commitment to teachers and students in Arizona.
Here are a few more provisions included in the HB2663:
• $273 million in funding for teacher salaries
• $100 million for school support staff
• $105 million in inflation funding
• Additional District Additional Assistance funding
• All total $540 million in new and restored funding for public education
• Funding is added to base level school funding formula to protect the investment and local school board control
Another amazing milestone, was the first step towards restoring Gifted Education funding with a $1 million infusion.
Arizona teachers earned this raise!
This is a watershed moment for education in Arizona and I was proud to be a part of this ongoing commitment to funding our schools.
Although a first step, it demonstrates a recognition of our improving economy and a commitment to restore education funding so we adequately fund our schools.
It was a good year for education in Arizona and I remain committed to working tirelessly for our shared priorities.