PHOENIX — “On Nov. 6, the people spoke. They want their teachers paid and their budgets balanced,” Gov. Doug Ducey said during his annual state of the state address Monday.
The governor is pushing to continue funding for his 20 by 2020 plan. The goal is to give teachers a 20 percent raise by 2020. The funding, though, is sent to the school districts, which do not have to use every dollar toward pay raises.
"To anyone out there considering using these resources somewhere else, I have one message, don't even think about it," Ducey said.
Governor Ducey began to push for the 20 by 2020 plan after the Red for Ed movement sparked a teacher walkout and march to the capitol steps.
Joshua Buckley, a teacher, advocate and parent, was one of the many pushing for change.
“Even with this first injection of the cash flow last year, we are still thousands of teachers below what we should be,” Buckley said. “My daughter graduates this year. The kids who are just going into school now deserve an education that she missed out on”
Buckley said he was not surprised by Ducey's speech Monday. He said the funding does help, however, he would like to see more money go to support staff and infrastructure of the schools themselves.
The governor also announced a plan to enhance school safety, similar to his plan he promoted after the Parkland shooting last year. Ducey said he put money in his budget for more school counselors and enough to put an officer at every school that "needs one."
Arizona ranks near the bottom when it comes to counselor-to-student ratios.
Governors Ducey will reveal his budget on Friday.