Arizona voters overwhelmingly support Gov. Doug Ducey's plan to raise teacher pay by 20 percent — and are more likely to support legislators who support thegovernor's plan, according to a new poll released by Data Orbital today.
Dubbed the 20x2020 Plan, Ducey's plan is to raise teacher pay in Arizona by 20 percent by the start of the 2020-21 school year. It comes at a time when teachers are organizing sick-outs and potentially further walkouts or even a strike.
According to the Data Orbital poll conducted this past weekend, 75.3 percent of voters polled said they approve of Ducey's plan to give a 20 percent pay raise to teachers. When asked if they would be likely to support a legislator who supports the governor's proposal, 48.64 percent said yes, while 12.7 percent said they would be less likely to support a legislator who supported Ducey's proposal.
Of those polled by Data Orbital, 39.5 percent are over the age of 65, while 20.5 percent were between the ages of 55 and 64 and 15 percent were between the ages of 45 and 54. Of those polled, 76 percent were white, while 13 percent were Hispanic, with 60 percent of the voters coming from Maricopa County.
Business leaders also support the governor's proposal.
Gonzalo A. de la Melena Jr., president and CEO of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, said the growth of Arizona's economy greatly depends on the willingness and ability of the state’s elected leaders to provide the resources needed to sustain, expand and improve the pre-kindergarten through university-level public education system.
"Our teachers deserve a significant pay raise, and the governor’s earnest proposal moves the public debate on the issue in the right direction, he said in a prepared statement.
But, he said, he wants to be assured that the funds will not be taken from other vital social safety net programs or from other areas of the public education system.
In a statement from the governor's office, the pay raise will start with a 10 percent pay raise for teachers by the start of the 2018 school year, adding another 5 percent pay raise in 2019 and another 5 percent pay raise in 2020.
With the average teacher pay in Arizona at $48,372, the pay raise would boost to $58,130 by the beginning of the 2020 school year.
Glenn Hamer, CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said thegovernor's plan is essential to the state's continued success story.
"Arizona’s job creators value teachers; they are integral to the success of our state,” Hamer said in a prepared statement. “Arizona’s teachers have earned a pay increase, and our growing economy makes it possible to deliver for them.
The Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce also supports the governor's 20x2020 Plan.
"The Greater Phoenix Chamber will work collaboratively with the Governor and Legislature to ensure a fiscally sustainable and responsible plan is passed," according to a statement issued by the chamber.
For more information or assistance, contact Governor Ducey's press office: (602) 542-1342.