Journalists’ Roundtable: Gov. Ducey proposes a 20 percent raise for teachers over three-year period

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Local journalists respond to Gov. Doug Ducey’s proposal to raise teacher salaries by 20 percent by 2020 and the reactions from educators.

Teacher pay increase proposal

Ducey has proposed to increase teacher salary by 10 percent by the start of the next school year beginning this fall. The next year will see a five percent increase, as well as the year after that. By the start of the 2020 school year, teachers will have a 20 percent salary increase.

“Two weeks the governor was saying no way are the teachers getting a 20 percent raise,” Jeremy Duda of the Arizona Capitol Times says. “On Tuesday, he said these protests, Red for Ed, are all just political theater. Thursday rolls around, all of a sudden you have a big press conference, big proposal of a 20 percent raise in 3 years.”

Bob Christie from the Associated Press points out that by 2020 that’s a $650 million price tag which equals a five percent budget increase for new teacher pay. Ducey is also still promising to restore some of the money taken from the districts in the beginning of the decade. Skepticism revolving around his plan is mainly based in the question of where that money will come from.

How to pay for the governor’s teacher raise

Arizona is seeing a boom in the economy right now. Revenue projections are up from what was expected, and that’s the main source Ducey says the funds will come from. However, what if the economy takes a different turn next year? Where will the funds come from then?

“One of the biggest concerns we’ve heard is, you can guarantee this for the current year but can you guarantee this for the future years?” Duda says. “We haven’t seen the final numbers yet. This seems so heavily dependent on these better than expected revenues that we’re seeing now. If the economy goes south and we have another recession which could happen, then what do you do?”

Ducey has stuck to his promise of not raising taxes. He did sign off on extending Prop 301, but that only maintains the status quo.

“They [the legislature] can move pots of money around,” Mike Sunnucks with the Phoenix Business Journal says. “The economy has been doing better. It’s been a really long expansion. Everyone’s kind of waiting for it to turn and when we head back to a recession. There’s a lot of turmoil in the economy right now with the trade wars and the president.”

Response from teachers

Many teachers aren’t convinced yet because they don’t have a solid answer on where the funding will be coming from for not just this year, but the next three years. There are also other requests made by teachers that still haven’t been addressed by the governor like restoring the funding that was cut in 2008 and raises for support staff.

“There could be [a teacher strike still]. We’ll see a budget next week or the week after,” Christie says. “If that budget comes out and there aren’t any guarantees that the money is there, I think all bets are off and they’ll shut down the schools. It’s pretty clear from what’s happening across the state. The question is whether they take this as enough.”

TED SIMONS: COMING UP NEXT ON "ARIZONA HORIZON'S JOURNALISTS' ROUNDTABLE," THE GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES A PAY-RAISE FOR TEACHERS, THIS AS THREATS OF A TEACHER'S STRIKE ABOUND, BUT WHERE IS THE MONEY TO PAY FOR ALL THIS AND WHY IS THAT MONEY NOW SUDDENLY AVAILABLE. THOSE STORIES AND MORE, NEXT, ON THE JOURNALISTS' ROUNDTABLE. ESCAPE, EXPLORE, EXPERIENCE. AND BY THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE MEMBERS OF 8, MEMBERS OF YOUR ARIZONA HORIZON. THANK YOU.

TED SIMONS: GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO "ARIZONA HORIZON'S JOURNALISTS' ROUNDTABLE." I'M TED SIMONS. JOINING US TONIGHT, JEREMY DUDA OF THE ARIZONA CAPITOL TIMES. BOB CHRISTIE OF THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. AND MIKE SUNNUCKS OF THE PHOENIX BUSINESS JOURNAL. GOVERNOR DUCEY YESTERDAY CAME OUT WITH A PLAN TO INCREASE TEACHER PAY, IT'S A HEALTHY INCREASE BUT IT'S BEING MET WITH SOME SKEPTICISM. FIRST OF ALL, BEFORE WE GET TO THE NAY SAYERS AND THE QUESTIONS, WHY THE ANNOUNCEMENT? WHY NOW?

JEREMY DUDA: IT IS AMAZING, TWO WEEKS AGO THE GOVERNOR SAID NO WAY 20% RAISE. TUESDAY, POLITICAL THEATER. THURSDAY, A BIG PRESS CONFERENCE AND 20% RAISE OVER THREE YEARS. WHAT YOU HAVE GOING ON, POSSIBLE STRIKES. THIS HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR WEEKS. WALKING OUT, CRIPPLING THE SCHOOLS ACROSS THE STATE, THE BUDGET IS ABOUT TO DROP. LAWMAKERS ARE ABOUT TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. EVERY WEEK IT LOOKED MORE LIKELY THAT THE TEACHERS WOULD WALK. THEY BACKED THEMSELVES INTO A CORNER WHERE IF THEY DIDN'T STRIKE, IT LOOKED LIKE THEY WERE WALKING AWAY WITH NOTHING. SO THEN WE HAVE TEACHER PAY RAISE PROPOSALS.

TED SIMONS: LET US BREAK DOWN IT HERE. Nine PERCENT THIS YEAR, 1% LAST YEAR, 5% NEXT YEAR AND THE YEAR AFTER, 20%.

BOB CHRISTIE: BY THE TIME WE GET TO 2020, IT IS $650 MILLION. THAT'S ALMOST A LITTLE MORE THAN 5% BUDGET INCREASE FOR NEW TEACHER PAY. PLUS THE GOVERNOR KEPT IN HIS EXISTING PROPOSAL TO START TO RESTORE DISTRICT MONEY TAKEN EARLIER IN THE DECADE. 100,000,000 OUT OF THE FIRST 400,000,000. IT'S A LOT OF MONEY FOR TEACHERS. IT'S A LOT TO BE COMMITTED TO PAYING, AND WHETHER THEY CAN FOLLOW THROUGH IS THE SCEPTICISM.

TED SIMONS: AVERAGE PAY FROM 48 TO 53, BUMPING UP TO 58 BY 2020. STILL, NOT AS HIGH AS NEIGHBORING STATES. NOT AS HIGH AS THE NATIONAL MEDIAN, BUT A LOT CLOSER.

MIKE SUNNUCKS: YOU HAVE TO THINK ABOUT BEGINNING TEACHERS. THEY ARE PAID THE LOW 30S. THOSE ARE THE FOLKS REALLY STRUGGLING. THIS IS A SOCIAL MEDIA STORY. WE SAW IT IN OKLAHOMA, KENTUCKY, AND SAME TREND HERE. IT GAVE IT MORE LEGS HERE BECAUSE PEOPLE WERE PAYING ATTENTION TO IT. THE GOVERNOR CAN GO ON TO FACEBOOK AND SEE THE TEACHERS OUTSIDE THE SCHOOL IN THE MORNINGS. EVERYBODY DROVE BY THOSE. OUTSIDE OF THE BUBBLE OF PEOPLE THAT PAY ATTENTION TO POLITIC, A LOT OF PEOPLE PAY ATTENTION TO IT, AND SOMEONE IS UP FOR REELECTION.

TED SIMONS: YES, BY THE TIME YOU GET TO 2020, 53 IS NOT THERE AS WELL. BE THAT AS IT MAY, IT SEEMS AS THOUGH THE GOVERNOR, HE SAID DURING HIS PRESS CONFERENCE, I'M LISTENING. IS THIS A PRAGMATIC MOVE BY A PRAGMATIC GOVERNOR?

JEREMY DUDA: DEFINITELY A PRAGMATIC MOVE. WE ALL SEEN. DUCEY DUG IN HIS HEELS. HE WAS RESISTING TO THE GREATEST EXTENT HE COULD. HE COULDN'T DO IT ANYMORE. HE IS UP FOR REELECTION, TEACHERS ARE GOING ON STRIKE, AND IT WOULD BE DIFFICULT NOT TO DO SOMETHING.

TED SIMONS: AND IN TERMS OF WHAT YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT EARLIER, HOW ARE YOU GOING TO PAY FOR THE RAISE?

BOB CHRISTIE: WE HAVE A BIG BOOM IN ARIZONA. EVERYONE KNOWS THE ECONOMY IS COMING BACK. REVENUE PROJECTIONS ARE ABOVE WHAT THEY WERE. END OF THIS YEAR AND NEXT BUDGET YEAR, $245 MILLION EXTRA. THAT'S NEW MONEY. THAT'S NOT IN THE ACCOUNTING HELD IN THE BUDGET SO FAR WHERE THE GOVERNOR SAID MONDAY, I DON'T HAVE ANY MORE MONEY. MEDICAID AND DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SECURITY, WE HAVE LOST 70,000 PATIENTS ON MEDICAID SINCE OCTOBER THAT HAVE DROPPED OFF OF THE PROGRAM ONE REASON OR ANOTHER BECAUSE THEY GOT BETTER JOBS AND INSURANCE AT WORK, 1.3 MILLION TO A LITTLE UNDER NOW. THAT'S A SUBSTANTIAL NUMBER OF PEOPLE. THERE IS A COST TO THE STATE THERE. THOSE ARE TWO BIG PARTS.

TED SIMONS: THE GOVERNOR SAID THE MONEY IS THERE.

GOV. DOUG DUCEY: AS A RESULT OF ARIZONA'S THRIVING ECONOMY AND RECORD POPULATION OF 7,000,000 PLUS RESIDENTS, STATE REVENUES ARE ON THE RISE, COMBINED WITH A REDUCTION IN STATE GOVERNMENT OPERATING BUDGETS THROUGH STRATEGIC EFFICIENCIES, CASELOAD SAVING, AND A ROLL BACK OF OFFICE PROPOSALS INCLUDED IN THE FISCAL YEAR 19 BUDGET, MORE DOLLARS ARE AVAILABLE TO INVEST INTO TWO ARIZONA'S MOST IMPORTANT PRIORITIES, ARIZONA'S TEACHERS AND ARIZONA'S CLASSROOM.

TED SIMONS: ARE THERE ENOUGH EFFICIENTS, AND IMPROVEMENT IN THE ECONOMY TO PAY FOR ALL OF THIS?

MIKE SUNNUCKS: HOW MANY REPUBLICAN BUDGETS HAVE WE HEARD THEM TALK ABOUT? THIS GOVERNOR IS A CEO AND THEY HAVE BEEN ABLE TO FIND THAT. THEY CAN MOVE POTS OF MONEY AROUND. THE ECONOMY IS DOING BETTER. EVERYONE IS WAITING FOR WHEN IT TURNS AND WE HEAD BACK TO A RECESSION. THERE IS A LOT OF TURMOIL WITH TRADE WARS AND THE PRESIDENT. SO FAR, THINGS ARE GOOD. THERE IS NOT A WINNING ARGUMENT. DO TEACHERS MAKE ENOUGH MONEY? EVERYONE AGREES THEY DON'T. WHEN YOU ARE SAYING I'M GOING TO DIG IN MY HEELS, IT'S HARD TO WIN. THIS MOVES HIM INTO RAISING PAY TO THE POINT IT MATTERS FOR FOLKS.

TED SIMONS: YES, YOU HAVE 5% THE FOLLOWING YEAR AND 5% THE FOLLOWING YEAR. THAT IS NOT INSIGNIFICANT, AND YOU ARE DEPENDING ON AN ECONOMY STEAMING RIGHT ALONG.

JEREMY DUDA: YOU CAN GUARANTEE THIS ONE YEAR, BUT CAN YOU GUARANTEE FUTURE YEARS? IT IS SO DEPENDENT ON ECONOMY GROWTH, YOU CAN DO IT ONE YEAR, BUT IF IT GOES SOUTH AFTER THAT, WHICH COULD HAPPEN. FIRST YEAR MONEY, THE PLAN IS FOR THIS TO GO TO BASE MONEY. YOU CAN'T CUT THAT, WHICH MEANS, ANOTHER RECESSION, ANOTHER BUDGET CRISIS, YOU HAVE TO FIGURE OUT WHERE TO PULL THAT MONEY FROM. ONE OF THE PLACES IS RAISES THAT HAVE NOT HAPPENED YET.

BOB CHRISTIE: WE ARE HERE BECAUSE AFTER THE GREAT RECESSION, THE LEGISLATURE, GOVERNOR BREWER AND THE GOVERNOR CONTROLLED LEGISLATURE SLASHED AND PUMPKINFERNOD AND THE BIGGEST PART IS K-12 FUNDING, A BILLION AND A HALF TOTAL CUTS PER YEAR. WE WERE LOW IN TEACHER PAY 2008. YOU DON'T GIVE RAISES IN TEN YEARS BECAUSE THEY DON'T HAVE MONEY FOR SCHOOL BUS, NO MONEY TO REPAIR THINGS. AIR CONDITIONERS ARE BROKEN, 20-YEAR-OLD SCHOOL BOOKS. THIS IS A COMBINATION OF A DECADE OF UNDERFUNDING EDUCATION.

JEREMY DUDA: AND WHEN THE SLASHING AND BURNING HAPPENED IN THE BUDGET, DURING THE NAPOLITANO YEAR, THEY SAID WE COULD PUT ALL OF THIS MONEY INTO THE EDUCATION. WHEN THE BUDGET FELL OUT, WHAT ARE WE GOING WITH THE BUDGET DEFICIT? GO BACK TO THE SCHOOLS.

MIKE SUNNUCKS: THIS IS NOT CONSTRUCTION OR FINANCE FORMULA THEY FOUGHT OVER BEFORE. THESE ARE TEACHERS THAT TEACH OUR KIDS THAT PUT A FACE ON THIS MUCH BETTER BECAUSE OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA SIDE AND WHAT WENT ON IN WEST VIRGINIA. THEY WILL HAVE A TOUGH TIME TO SAY THE ECONOMY THE BAD.

TED SIMONS: MR. PHOENIX BUSINESS JOURNAL OVER HERE, YOU REMEMBER WHAT IT WAS LIKE IN 2012 OR SOMETHING. CUTS WERE HAPPENING RIGHT AND LEFT AND PEOPLE WERE TOO BUSY TRYING TO SAVE THEIR OWN JOBS AND ECONOMIES.

MIKE SUNNUCKS: WE HAVE CHOSEN AS A STATE, AS A LEGISLATOR TO CUT TAXES. WE HAVE CHOSEN TO DETERMINE WHERE TO MOVE MONEY. IF SOMETHING TURNS SOUR, THEY'LL FACE THIS IN SPADES. THIS ISN'T GOING AWAY. THEY GOT A LOT OF GRASSROOTS ATTENTION. IT'S A DIFFERENT DYNAMIC FROM EVEN A FEW YEARS AGO. EVERYONE KNEW WHAT THE ECONOMY WAS LIKE.

TED SIMONS: IF SOMETHING LIKE THAT RETURN, DO THEY GET THE 5% INCREASE.

BOB CHRISTIE: THE LEGISLATURE, LAST THING YOU WANT TO DO IS ANGER THE POLICE AND FIREFIGHTERS. YOU WANT THEM STATEWIDE ON YOUR SIDE. THEY ARE MULTIPLIERS. THEY VOTE TIMES TEN TO TEACHERS. TEACHERS HAVE 30 KIDS IN THEIR SCHOOLS IN EACH CLASS AND THEY DON'T HAVE PARENTS, AND THEIR PARENTS MAINLY VOTE. IF THEY SEE A HUGE POLITICAL ISSUES INVOLVING SCHOOLS AND THIS IS WHO TO TAKE IT OUT ON --

MIKE SUNNUCKS: AND IN THE PAST, WE ASSOCIATED TEACHER UNIONS WITH DEMOCRATS. THIS ISN'T A PARTISAN ISSUE. DO TEACHERS MAKE ENOUGH MONEY? THEY DON'T. IT'S NOT LIKE THE HEALTHCARE ISSUES. THERE ARE NO POLICY ARGUMENTS HERE. THIS IS A MORAL ARGUMENT FOR FOLKS.


TED SIMONS: DOES THE LEGISLATURE GO ALONG WITH 9% NOW AND GOOD LUCK LATER ON?


JEREMY DUDA: I THINK SO. NOW THAT THE GOVERNOR HAS A PLAN, I WOULD EXPECT TO SEE THE REPUBLICANS IN LEGISLATURE GO ALONG AND THE DEMOCRATS AS WELL.


TED SIMONS: LET US TALK ABOUT THE RESPONSE FROM THE TEACHERS. ARE TEACHERS GOING TO GO ALONG WITH THIS PARTICULAR PLAN?


JEREMY DUDA: WHAT WE HAVE SEEN FROM THE LEGISLATIVE GROUPS LEADING THE WAY ON THIS, A LOT OF THEM ARE NOT CONVINCED. THERE IS NO GUARANTEE THAT AFTER THIS YEAR IT WILL HAPPEN. THERE ARE A LOT OF REQUESTS THEY HAD, RESTORATION OF FUNDING CUT AFTER 2008 RAISES FOR SUPPORT STAFF, SOME SAY IT'S TOO LITTLE TOO LATE. THERE ARE A LOT OF FOLK THAT WILL SAY IT'S GOOD ENOUGH. IT'S A LOT OF WHAT WE WANTED. WE'LL TAKE IT. SOME LEADING THE PROTESTS AREN'T.

TED SIMONS: IS THERE STILL GOING ON A WALK OUT, STRIKE, WORK ACTION, IF YOU WILL?

BOB CHRISTIE: THERE COULD BE. WE SHOULD SEE A BUDGET NEXT WEEK OR THE WEEK AFTER. IF THAT BUDGET COMES OUT AND THERE ARE NOT GUARANTEES, ALL BETS ARE OFF, THEY'LL SHUT DOWN THE SCHOOLS. THE ONLY QUESTION IS WHETHER THEY TAKE THIS AS ENOUGH. AS JEREMY NOTED, WE FOCUS ON TEACHER PAY AS A GOOD HEADLINE. THERE ARE FOUR OR FIVE OTHER COMPONENTS. YOU NEED TO RESTORE TO 2008 LEVELS OR EARLIER LEVELS TO BUY TEXTBOOKS, NEW SCHOOL BUSSES, FIX THE HOLES IN THE ROOF, AIR CONDITIONERS AND OTHER STUFF. OUR SUPPORT STAFF, SPECIAL EDUCATION AIDES, SCHOOL COUNSELORS ARE VIRTUALLY NONEXISTENT IN THE STATE, LUNCH LADIES, YOU NAME IT. THEY ARE NOT GETTING RAISES EITHER. THEY NEED MONEY TOO. THAT'S THE STICKING PART I THINK.

MIKE SUNNUCKS: THERE ARE ALWAYS KOOL-AID DRINKERS ON THE FRINGE. SOME ARE MORE LIBERAL AND PROGRESSIVE. WHATEVER A GOVERNOR DOES TO BACK TRUMP WILL BE ENOUGH FOR THEM THERE ARE ALWAYS THE ADEQUACY GROUPS ON BOTH SIDES OF ISSUES WANTING TO KEEP UP THE FIGHT BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT THEY ARE THERE FOR.

JEREMY DUDA: IT IS A QUESTION OF WHETHER THE PUBLIC WILL GO ALONG. THE PUBLIC WERE SUPPORTIVE, AND THEY'LL ALWAYS SUPPORT EDUCATION FUNDING, BUT IF THE GOVERNOR IS GIVING THEM -- PLEDGING TO GIVE THEM A 20% RAISE OVER THREE YEAR, AND THERE ARE LEGITIMATE QUESTIONS NOT ANSWERED FOR A WHILE, AND THEY SAY THIS ISN'T GOOD ENOUGH, IS THE PUBLIC GOING TO SUPPORT THEM IN THE ELECTION? NOT AS LIKELY AS A YEAR AGO.

TED SIMONS: DOES THE PUBLIC SUPPORT CUSTODIANS AND BUS DRIVES AND LIBRARIANS AS MUCH AS THEY DO TEACHERS?

JEREMY DUDA: IT HAS BEEN AN EFFECTIVE MOVEMENT BECAUSE EVERY WEDNESDAY TEACHERS IN RED FOR ED.

TED SIMONS: IT IS A HAIL MARY AND THESE SORT OF THINGS. I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE THINK THE PRESSURE WAS LET OUT OF THE BALLOON BY THE GOVERNOR YESTERDAY. IF YOU DON'T HAVE A PLAN, YOU CAN'T GET THE DETAILS, BUT --

BOB CHRISTIE: THERE ARE A COUPLE OF ISSUES THAT COULD KEEP IT. IN THE LIMELIGHT EVEN IF, THEY GET THE RAISE. THE SCHOOL VOUCHER PLAN, PUT ON THE BALLOT IN NOVEMBER BY TEACHERS AND EDUCATORS. GOVERNOR DOESN'T WANT TO SEE THAT. WE HAVE TWO TO THREE WEEKS AT THE MOST LEFT AT THE LEGISLATURE. IF THEY REPEAL AND REPLACE, THAT WILL REINVIGORATE THE MOVEMENT. A LOT OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS BELIEVE THAT THEY HAVE SIPHONED MONEY FROM PUBLIC SCHOOLS TO GIVE TO PRIVATE SCHOOLS.

TED SIMONS: THIS COULD BLEED OVER TO OTHER AREAS.

BOB CHRISTIE: ABSOLUTELY.

MIKE SUNNUCKS: TEACHER PAY IS EASY. ASK IF TEACHERS MAKE ENOUGH? NO. STARTING TO GET TO VOUCHERS, I DON'T KNOW IF THAT'S THE SAME SENTIMENT. IT GETS THE HARD CORE FOLKS, THE ACTIVISTS, ENERGIZED. THEY DON'T LIKE THOSE ON THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SIDE. IF IT BLEEDS OVER FOR EVERYONE IN THE MOVEMENT, IT'S BEEN ORGANIC. IT'S REGULAR FOLKS ON FACEBOOK OR TWITTER INSTEAD OF FOLKS LIKE US, THE POLITICAL CLASS OR DEMOCRATIC LEADER, IT'S FOR THE MOST PART BEN REGULAR TEACHERS.

TED SIMONS: TALK ABOUT THE IMPACT OF TEACHER ACTIVISM HERE. IT CAME OUT OF NOWHERE. IT'S A BIG DEAL.

JEREMY DUDA: THIS IS A DRIVING FORCE BEHIND EVERYTHING. THE GOVERNOR MADE A COMMENT, IF YOU WANT TO TAKE CREDIT, JUMP ON THE BANDWAGON. ARIZONA EDUCATORS UNITED, RED FOR ED FOLKS, THAT'S WHY THIS HAPPENED. THIS IS A NATIONWIDE MOVEMENT FROM WEST VIRGINIA TO OKLAHOMA TO KENTUCKY AND WHEREVER.

TED SIMONS: THEY INCLUDED PARENTS, PTA, AND NEIGHBORS.

BOB CHRISTIE: AND THE GOVERNOR LATE AS TUESDAY SLAMMED HIM, PARTISAN POLITICS, POLITICAL THEATER, DISMISSED IT OUT OF HAND. THAT HURT. IMAGES FROM THAT INTERVIEW AFTER A TUESDAY NIGHT RADIO APPEARANCE, THAT'S DAMAGING. DISSING THE TEACHER THAT'S TEACHING MY KIDS, LITTLE THREE-YEAR-OLD JOEY HERE.

TED SIMONS: IT FELT LIKE FROM A DISTANCE HERE THAT THE OFFICE STARTED THINKING; THE TRAIN IS ROLLING OFF THE TRACK HERE. WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING.

MIKE SUNNUCKS: NO SIDE IS HARD TO ARGUE. TEACHERS DESERVE MORE MONEY. WE ALL THINK THAT. YOU CAN ASK THE TRUCK DRIVE, WHOEVER THE PARENTS ARE -- ASK ANYBODY. IF THIS GOES OFF THE RAILS. IF IT DOESN'T HAPPEN, YOU CAN RUN FOOTAGE BEFORE THIS, WHAT HE SAID THIS WEEK, WHAT IS HAPPENING. THAT'S THE DANGER. WE'LL PROBABLY WIN REELECTION. THIS IS THE ONE THING HE SHOULD WORRY ABOUT.

TED SIMONS: DID HE WIN RE-ELECTION YESTERDAY?

JEREMY DUDA: I THINK HE DID HIMSELF MANY FAVORS. YOU LOOK AT THE DEMOCRATIC RESPONSES. A LOT OF FOLKS DIDN'T SEEM SURE HOW TO RESPOND. FARLEY CAME OUT WITH A STATEMENT SAYING, THIS IS A GOOD FIRST STEP. WE HAVE A LOT OF WORK AHEAD OF US. GARCIA SAID, I DON'T TRUST HIM. DEMOCRATIC PARTY CARPET BOMBED HIM WITH CRITICISM. THE DEMOCRATS, FARLEY AND GARCIA, LOST THEIR BEST ISSUE. THERE IS CRITICISM. HE DID IT SLOPPILY. CAN YOU CONVINCE THEM THAT HE DIDN'T DO GOOD ENOUGH?

BOB CHRISTIE: SCHOOL FUNDING IS AT OR NEAR THE BOTTOM FOR PEOPLE IN THE UNITED STATES EVEN WITH THIS RACE. WE MIGHT MOVE ONE NOTCH FROM 47TH TO 46TH, BUT THE ISSUE IS STILL THERE. THE DYNAMICS OF THE MOMENT.

TED SIMONS: WHEN HE SAYS, I HAVE BEEN LISTENING, HERE IS WHAT YOU GOT, HARD TO BEAT.

BOB CHRISTIE: IT TAKES IT OFF THE TABLE AS A TOPNOTCH THING. THERE CONTINUE TO BE ISSUES.

TED SIMONS: WE HAD LEGISLATE I LEADERSHIP ON THIS WEEK AND A CONTINUING NARRATIVE FOR THEM WAS THAT THEY DON'T DICTATE TEACHER SALARIES. THEY ARE GETTING A BUM RAM BECAUSE OF IT.

REP. MESNARD: THEY HAVE TO MAKE THE DECISION WHERE THE DOLLARS GO. WE ARE GETTING BLAMED FOR A LOT OF THE TEACHER PAY ISSUE. IT'S A FUNCTION OF DISTRICT DECISION.

TED SIMONS: WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THAT?

JEREMY DUDA: THAT WAS AN AWESOME ARGUMENT UNTIL LAST YEAR WHEN DOUG DUCEY SAID WE WOULD CREATE TEACHER RAISES, A BIG SELLING POINT WAS OUR TEACHERS NEED A RAISE. PEOPLE CAME TO THE REALIZATION, NOT EVERYONE GOT A RAISE. THE DISTRICTS MAKE THE DECISIONS. A LOT OF THEM SAID WE CAN'T REALLY USE THIS FOR BUSSES. YOU CAN USE IT FOR SUPPLIES.

TED SIMONS: THE PLAN WOULD TAKE MONEY FOR CAPITAL EXPENSES AND MOVE THEM. THE BUS WON'T GET YOUR KID TO SCHOOL, BUT IF THEY CAN GET THERE, THE TEACHERS WILL BE WELL PAID.


MIKE SUNNUCKS: THERE IS A POINT THAT SCHOOL DISTRICTS, HOW MUCH DO THEY PAY PRINCIPALS, ADMINISTRATORS, COMPARED TO THE LUNCH LADY AND LIBRARIANS? THEY NEED TO KEEP THEIR FEET TO THE FIRE. YOU SEE DISCREPANCIES, WHAT A STARTING PERSON GETS PAID.


BOB CHRISTIE: THAT HAS BEEN THERE SINCE I WAS IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, WHICH IS A LONG TIME AGO. THE TEACHERS ARE POORLY PAID. THE BUSSES ARE BROKEN DOWN AND BUILDINGS ARE DILAPIDATED BECAUSE FOR THE LAST DECADE, WE HAVE UNDERFUNDED SCHOOLS.

TED SIMONS: THIS IS NOT A SHELL GAME. THE LEGISLATIVE PROPOSAL, THE CRITICISM WAS, THAT'S A SHELL GAME.

JEREMY DUDA: THEY ARE COMMITTED TO NOT DOING THAT. THEY PROMISED TO INCREASE IN THE BUDGET, DUCEY WAS ADAMANT ABOUT NOT LETTING THAT HAPPEN.

TED SIMONS: WHAT DO WE WATCH FOR NEXT IN ALL OF THIS?

BOB CHRISTIE: OVER THE WEEKEND, THEY WILL PUT NUMBERS TOGETHER. MONDAY, TUESDAY -- WE MIGHT GET A BUDGET THIS WEEK. THE DROP DEAD FOR ME, ARE THERE TAX CUTS IN THE BUDGET? ARE THERE TAX CUTS THAT MAKE IT THROUGH? THAT WILL TRIGGER THE TEACHER. AFTER THAT, TEACHERS HAVE TO DECIDE WHAT TO DO. DO THEY SAY WE WANT FULL 20% OR WALK AWAY?

TED SIMONS: DOES THAT SOUND GOOD TO YOU?

JEREMY DUDA: A LOT OF UNKNOWNS. WE'LL FIND OUT MORE NEXT WEEK.

TED SIMONS: I GUESS WE WILL. THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.

TED SIMONS: COMING UP MONDAY ON "ARIZONA HORIZON DOES PRESIDENT TRUMP HAVE THE POWER TO FIRE SPECIAL COUNSEL ROBERT MUELLER? AND WE'LL TAKE A LOOK AT THE PHOENIX HOUSING MARKET, WHERE SOME HOMES HAVE BOUNCED BACK TO PRE-RECESSION VALUES. THAT'S MONDAY, ON "ARIZONA HORIZON."

TED SIMONS: TUESDAY, TEACHER PAY IS MAKING ALL THE HEADLINES, BUT WE WILL LOOK AT EDUCATION FUNDING AS WHOLE. WEDNESDAY, WE'LL HEAR ABOUT A PROGRAM THAT AIMS TO IMPROVE HEALTH AND WELLNESS IN THE REGION. THURSDAY, A LOOK AT ARIZONA'S BIOSCIENCE INDUSTRY. AND FRIDAY, IT'S ANOTHER EDITION OF THE JOURNALISTS' ROUNDTABLE. THAT IS IT FOR NOW. I'M TED SIMONS. THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.

Jeremy Duda: Arizona Capitol Times
Bob Christie: Associated Press
Mike Sunnucks: Phoenix Business Journal

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