State School Superintendent Horne supports $10K teacher raise

Contributed Photo: Arizona State Superintendent Tom Horne says teachers deserve a $10,000 increase in pay.

Pay measure is GOP-sponsored

Contributed Article/Courtesy Arizona Department of Education

PHOENIX – State schools chief Tom Horne, responding to inquiries about a recent National Education Association (NEA) study on teacher pay, says the national organization and Arizona Education Association (AEA) are surprisingly at odds with each other on this issue.

The NEA released data this week indicating teachers’ pay has decreased in real terms due to inflation in recent years and advocating for raises. Horne has been asked to respond to that study on several occasions.

“The national teacher’s union has issued a statement about the importance of raising teacher salaries, and I agree,” Horne said. “Matt Kress, a Republican legislator, has introduced a bill to raise teacher salaries by $10,000. This would put Arizona in the top 10 of states for starting salaries.”

“Shockingly, the Arizona teacher’s union and a number of Democrats in the legislature, oppose the bill. All we can think of is that they are opposed to it because it is a Republican bill. These kinds of questions should be bipartisan, and people should not oppose a good bill, just because it was introduced by a Republican.”

“Since the national teacher’s union advocates for raises and the Arizona teacher’s union has opposed a bill to do just that, we are willing to facilitate introducing the state president of the teacher’s union to the national president,” Horne concluded.