Teacher Pay Plan

I believe great schools aren’t a luxury, they are a necessity to enable Arizona’s economy to continue to grow.  Investing in our public education system is the only way we will have the workforce and leaders our state needs to fill the good, high paying jobs of the future.  If Arizona wants to be able to compete for these jobs, we must increase our investment in our public schools and our educators to ensure we are producing enough qualified candidates for these emerging professions.

We know Arizona has over two thousand classrooms with no full-time teacher -- one of the worst teacher shortages in the country. We also know over 1600 teachers have left just since the start of the school year.  These shortages don’t just impact their individual classroom -- they impact nearly every kid and every teacher in every school as the staff we do have are pulled into covering for classrooms that don’t have any instructional leaders. 

This is a labor market issue -- if you pay people more money to do a job somewhere else, many qualified applicants either leave to take those jobs or drop out of the teaching workforce altogether.   Arizona ranks 49th for teacher pay, causing teachers to look to neighboring states for work or drop out of teaching all together. For too long our hardworking teachers have been asked to do so much while earning so little. They have had to contend with a legislature and governor who do not show them the respect they deserve. 

My teacher pay plan is very simple. As governor, I won’t sign a budget until Arizona is on a path to paying our teachers a salary that ranks 25th in the nation -- a goal we will achieve, at the latest, by the end of my first term.  This means we will move teacher pay from an average of $47,600 to $58,600 -- which will be an average raise of over $10,000 for our teachers. There's no need to raise taxes even one cent. It can all be funded with just a fraction of our recurring budget surplus. 

Fixing Arizona’s teacher crisis will have immediate benefits for all Arizonans; more teachers in classrooms, better job opportunities for educators, smaller class sizes, and importantly, better outcomes for Arizona students -- with the goal of ultimately increasing the number of Arizonans able to pursue a degree or certificate after high school. 

I believe we can have it all in Arizona, a booming economy and great public schools.  For too long, we have been told we can’t afford to make progress on some of the most pressing problems confronting our state.  I say we can’t afford not to.  

Especially when it comes to education, we have to solve the teacher shortage crisis if we want to continue to be a national leader in job growth.   I want Arizona to be the best state in the country to start a business, be a teacher, AND to raise a family.  My Let's Grow Arizona: Teacher Pay Plan will do exactly that by once and for all ending the exodus of teachers to other professions and states with competitive wages and a commitment to properly fund our K-12 schools.