Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s latest proposal for increasing teacher pay has overwhelming support from voters, who also think it will have a positive effect on schools, a poll revealed Tuesday.
Nearly 76 percent of respondents in Phoenix-based Data Orbital’s survey said they approved the plan to boost teacher pay by 20 percent. The push would be over two years.
“The poll is positive, exciting news for the Ducey administration,” Arizona political consultant Stan Barnes told KTAR News 92.3 FM.
“It is chilling and negative news for the local teachers union.”
Approval was spread across all political affiliations, with about 85 percent of the thumbs-up coming from Democrats.
Teachers have been protesting conditions in their schools and low salaries for weeks, wanting a 20 percent raise.
They have had marches and walk-ins, demonstrated with parents and children and other educators and have discussed a long-term walkout.
Members of the Arizona Education Association and the Arizona Educators United coalition will begin voting this week whether or not to strike.
After originally offering a 1 percent raise, last week Ducey offered a 20 percent raise to be spread over two years.
“The public is ready to support the governor … (teachers) better get on board,” Barnes said. “… A strike might backfire on them.”
Close to 60 percent of the poll respondents said they thought the plan would be good for schools.
The poll also showed that almost 49 percent said they would be behind legislators who supported Ducey’s proposal.
The poll contacted 800 likely general-election voters. The gender split was 52.5 percent women and 47.5 percent men.
Ages ranged from 18 to 65 and over. Republicans made up 41 percent, Democrats 32 percent and independents 25.5 percent.
Maricopa County had the most respondents at around 60 percent.
For more information or assistance, contact Governor Ducey's press office: (602) 542-1342.