Every child in Arizona deserves a quality education provided by trusted and valued teachers in a safe and secure environment. Our children depend on it, of course, but our commitment to education is also vital to attracting high-quality jobs.
Arizona currently ranks 49th in the country in per-pupil spending. Teachers are overworked and leaving the profession in droves. Our classrooms suffer from outdated technology and textbooks, and schools are crumbling.
Gov. Ducey and his fellow Republicans in the state legislature finally took action this year when - under tremendous pressure from parents and teachers - they approved a pay increase for educators.
While throwing money at a problem should never be the first course of action, it's clear that we must continue to fight to make smarter investments in our classrooms, and give teachers and students the tools they need to succeed.
We must also ensure that we have the best, most qualified teachers in every classroom. Unfortunately, Gov. Ducey and Republicans voted last year to dramatically lower the bar for people to qualify as teachers in our state. Degrading the teaching profession is a recipe for disaster—promising to drive qualified teachers out of the profession, perpetuating our teacher shortage, and lowering the quality of our kids’ education.
We’re not just playing catch-up to the rest of the country, we’re continuing to fall behind.