Doubletalk Ducey came up with a GOPropaganda bumper sticker slogan, #20by2020, to sell his teacher pay plan, but his plan actually does not deliver a 20 percent pay increase to all teachers as he falsely claims.
Nonetheless, his GOPropaganda ads will persist in selling this “Ducey” (lie) to low information voters in Arizona. Ducey’s ’20 percent’ promise persists, but the plan can’t fund raises for all teachers:
As lawmakers debated and discussed the teacher pay raise plan proposed by Gov. Doug Ducey, one element seemed clear: The plan would not guarantee 20 percent raises to every single teacher.
However, once the plan was passed and sent to Ducey’s desk, he revived that promise while signing it.
In a video posted to Twitter on Thursday, Ducey said the bill, among the other budget bills, would “codify the 20 percent teacher pay raise by 2020.”
An ad that began airing Friday, paid for by the Republican Governors’ Association as part of Ducey’s re-election campaign, also says that “teachers are receiving a 20 percent raise.”
But the plan as passed would not provide the funding for every single teacher to receive a 20 percent raise. Nor would it mandate that all the dollars provided go to teacher salaries.
An Arizona Republic analysis, based on figures provided to the Arizona auditor general by school districts, shows that 59 districts would not receive enough funding to give all teachers a 20 percent pay raise.
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Raymond Aguilera, superintendent of the Gadsden Elementary School District in San Luis, in the southwest corner of Arizona, said pay issues are intensely personal. “There’s going to be people that understand and others that don’t,” he said.
Ducey’s purposefully misleading ads are counting on low information voters who don’t understand.
The 20 percent figure touted by the governor remains a concern.
“It’s almost like false hope,” Aguilera said.
Linda Valdez of The Republic exposes the “Ducey” (lie). Debunk That 20 percent Teacher Raise:
Teacher Appreciation Week begins May 7 and you may be wondering: What do you give somebody who just got a 20 percent raise?
Start with a reality check.
Why a 20 percent raise is a myth
Debunk this crazy idea that teachers just got a 20 percent raise.
#RedForEd produced some positive change.
But there was no 20 percent raise, Gov. Doug Ducey’s bumper-sticker slogan about #20by2020, notwithstanding.
- There’s no guarantee any teacher will get any raise.
- School districts will decide how to spend the additional cash that is ostensibly being provided for teacher raises.
- There probably isn’t enough for all teachers at all pay grades. The calculation was made based on “average” salary.
A raise for teachers or fix the broken AC?
- Schools have lots of expensive problems competing for that money: broken air conditioners, roach infestations, underpaid support staff, leaky roofs, decrepit buses, plumbing problems.
- The “additional” funding Ducey and the lawmakers provided specifically to address these and other needs – like textbooks – won’t begin to cover the years of deferred maintenance.
- Without a tax increase, state revenue cannot pay for the promises made in the budget bill.
- The so-called 20 percent raise is incremental as well as unfunded: 10 percent increase next year, followed by 5 percent each of the next two years.
Bottom line: Teachers are unlikely to get raises anywhere near the magnitude Ducey is crowing about.
Even the resident GOP apologist at The Republic, Robert Robb, exposes the “Ducey” (lie). #RedforEd, 1. Gov. Doug Ducey, 0. Expect more of that in the future:
Gov. Doug Ducey is crowing that the Legislature passed his teacher pay proposal into law.
That’s not remotely accurate. And it is good for the state that it isn’t.
Ducey proposed an imprudent amount of new spending for K-12 education, based upon existing tax rates. And he proposed that it be distributed in a way that would have wrecked the education finance system.
The Legislature accepted the imprudent amount of new spending. But it distributed the money in a way that is much more sensible and leaves the education finance system unmolested.
3 reasons Ducey’s plan was just plain bad
Ducey’s plan would have given every current teacher a 20 percent raise, phased in over three years.
In the first place, that’s a numskull idea. Requiring that all new money be given to existing teachers would leave school districts and charter school operators with no additional money to improve the pay scale for new hires. And it wouldn’t have allowed schools to tailor their pay raises to their individual recruitment and retention needs, which might argue for differential raises.
Second, it violates every tenet of education reform Ducey used to profess. A big raise for everyone regardless of performance? A liberal never would have thought of that [but a “”Kochtopus” puppet governor did.]
Third, creating a component in the school finance formula directly for teacher pay would have rendered the rest of the formula politically irrelevant and made a mockery of local control of education. That component would have been the focus of every legislative session. Districts and charters would have become bystanders in the most important element of personnel management, compensation.
The Legislature made it less bad
Rather than enact this folly, the Legislature appropriated the same amount of money but in a way that leaves districts and charters in charge of compensation. The “base level” in the school finance formula would be increased to produce the same amount of additional money.
The base level is a per-pupil allotment that is the beginning point of the state aid formula. It is adjusted based upon the characteristics of students and schools.
What schools get at the end of the formula are discretionary dollars, to be spent however they think best.
The budget states that the intention is that the additional state aid be used for teacher compensation. But, even within that constraint, districts and charters will be free to tailor the distribution of the money to meet their individual recruitment and retention needs, including differential raises and pay scale improvements for new hires.
The budget is still not sustainable
The general fund budget adopted for next year spends nearly $140 million more than ongoing taxes and fees will produce. That sustainability deficit is made up with carryforward from this year, fund transfers, and [rosy] assumptions that additional tax collectors will produce more revenue.
That sustainability deficit persists at that level through 2021, the three-year budget outlook that is used in these exercises. But that assumes that state programs, other than K-12 education and Medicaid, are frozen at existing levels for the entire period.
If other state programs grew at roughly the rate of population growth and inflation, as they should, the sustainability deficit would increase to about half a billion dollars.
That doesn’t mean that the additional money promised to K-12 education won’t be delivered or that the state has a budget crisis looming. But it does mean that the state budget will go back to being cobbled together annually with temporizing fixes.
The era of sustainable state finances lasted about two years. I miss it already.
#RedforEd made the difference
I would like to say that the teachers movement and #RedforEd shouldn’t be credited with this significant increase in state funding for education.
But I can’t.#RedforEd and the impending teacher strike put Team Ducey into a political panic. And so the governor rushed out his irresponsible plan.
The Legislature made it less irresponsible. Given the support for the governor among GOP lawmakers, chances are that they would have ponied up the money he set as a marker in any event. But the teacher strike and protests made it less likely that enough Republican legislators would revolt over sustainability concerns to derail the additional dough.
Ducey was Gov. Milquetoast during the strike, seeking to co-opt and appease, not to confront and thwart.
The first significant act of public employee militancy in these parts in recent memory produced results.
Expect more of it.
About that last bit of bile: Robert Robb spent years as the media flak for the “Kochtopus” Death Star, the Goldwater Institute, and the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry before joining The Republic. He simply cannot contain his hatred for unions and labor, you know, the working people of Arizona. He only answers to his corporate overlords.
This is a point emphasized by The Republic’s E.J. Montini, #RedForEd won … by losing:
Ducey and the Republicans who control the Legislature are deep in the pockets of the billionaire Koch brothers. (Among others.) Their goal is not just to starve public education of taxpayer dollars but to decimate and destroy any and all teacher unions.
They hate them.
Because individually most of us can’t do much against the super rich or the politicians they have in their pockets. But collectively, operating together for a common cause, there is power. At least there can be.
In this instance, Ducey got the Legislature to pass his plan for a 20 percent teacher raise by 2020.
Delivering for political overlords
In a statement Ducey said in part, “Arizona teachers have earned a raise, and this plan delivers.”
It certain delivers for the overlords of Ducey and the lawmakers. For the kids? For teachers? For the future of public education in Arizona?
Not so much.
UPDATE: E.J. Montini adds, 20 percent pay raise for Arizona teachers was 100 percent bull:
The Legislature passed Gov. Doug Ducey’s plan to give teachers a 20 percent pay raise by 2020, which Ducey said would “codify” the salary increase.
Television ads being run on Ducey’s behalf say the same thing.
The number crunchers disagree. The state’s Joint Legislative Budget Committee didn’t buy it.
And an analysis by The Arizona Republic – based on the state auditor general’s numbers – indicates that 59 school districts wouldn’t get enough money under the law to give all of their teachers the promised raise.
In other words, that 20 percent pay hike for all teachers was 100 percent bull.
So when you see those GOPropaganda TV ads from the Republican Governors’ Association touting our Koch-bot Governor Ducey and his #20by2020, you should know it’s a “Ducey” (lie).