Arizona School Superintendent Diane Douglas proclaims her leadership on education on this weekend's "Sunday Square Off," with a plan to give teachers a double-digit raise.
But Douglas wouldn't take a stand on the most divisive bill passed by the Legislature this session - the expansion of private-school vouchers.
Douglas has called for a permanent extension of Proposition 301 - a voter-approved measure that funds teacher salaries - to a full 1 percent tax on sales, up from the current six-tenths of a percent. Douglas said that would give teachers an immediate 11 percent raise and deliver $100 million for school facilities.
The budget passed by the Legislature last week gives teachers a 1 percent raise next year and the year after.
Gov. Doug Ducey has indicated he supports an extension of Prop 301, but the anti-tax governor is unlikely to support an increase.
Douglas and I also discuss:
-Her relationship with Ducey, which got off to a rocky start after both took office in 2015.
-Whether her office can keep track of the up to $25 million in new tax dollars going to private and religious schools next year, under the school-voucher expansion.
Douglas already has two challengers in next year's Republican primary for school superintendent: former California congressman and candidate for Arizona governor Frank Riggs, and Tracy Livingston, a K-12 teacher and a member of the Maricopa Community College Governing Board.
On the Democratic side, Tempe Councilman and former state legislator David Schapira has announced he's running.
Also on "Square Off," we discuss the potential impact on Arizona of the American Health Care Act, approved by the U.S. House last week.
Panelists Dana Wolfe Naimark, president and chief executive officer of Children's Action Alliance, and Jon Gabriel, editor-in-chief of the conservative blogging site Ricochet.com, explain why the bill could force Gov. Ducey and the Republican Legislature to make some tough decisions on health insurance for all Arizonans.
"Sunday Square Off" airs at 8 a.m. Sunday on 12 News, after "Meet the Press."
You can see past shows at on our 12 News YouTube channel.