Original article by Craig Harris, a senior investigative reporter for The Arizona Republic

Gov. Doug Ducey awards hefty pay raises to his staff, but has no money for AZ teachers who rank 48th-50th in the country in teacher pay

Craig Harris, a senior investigative reporter for The Arizona Republic, in his article ‘Gov. Doug Ducey, despite lean budget, awards hefty pay raises to his staff’ exposes the inequality of pay raises between Arizona teachers and Ducey’s staff.
Governor Doug Ducey claims the Arizona budget is too small to increase the pay of teachers, he proposed a two percent raise in teacher wages, to be spread out over multiple years.
According to Arizona Education Association President Joe Thomas Arizona, teachers are ranked 48th in the country for high-school teacher pay, and last in elementary-school teacher pay. “It is frustrating when you see people in other sectors of public work rewarded with gigantic raises,” Thomas said. “We would end our teacher crisis if we saw a 10-12 percent raise. But we are told that the state can’t afford it.”

However, the members of Governor Ducey’s staff saw significant pay raises and bonuses. Ducey gave his friend and business associate, Kevin Donnellan, the Deputy Director of the State Department of Administration, a 41% raise, increasing his pay to $161,200. It seems that Governor Ducey is playing favorites.

Why should we care?

  • Teachers work hard to ensure that our children are educated, despite being underpaid and over worked.
  • Arizona has 1,300 vacant teaching positions because the pay is just too low.
  • All public servants deserve equitable raises, if we can afford to give Ducey’s staff raises, we can afford to pay our teachers.

What can we, the average Arizonan, do?

  • We can inform ourselves about the issues, like teacher pay and where is our Legislature & Governor choosing to spend our money.
  • We can inform ourselves about our elected and appointed officials.
  • We can discuss these issues with our friends, families and others in our community.