Governor Doug Ducey has claimed to be a friend to teachers, but his actions tell another story. He not only signed a law letting untrained hires go into our children's classrooms, he gave Arizona’s notoriously low-paid teachers a paltry one-time, two percent pay increase -- while giving his own friends in his administration double digit raises.
- Arizona ranks 50th in elementary teacher salary, with the lowest-paid teachers making 9 percent less than the national average and highest-paid ones making 28 percent less, according to the Morrison Institute at Arizona State University. [Arizona Republic, 7/5/17]
- Despite Arizona teachers having some of the lowest pay in the nation, Ducey gave them just a temporary 2 percent raise -- while giving double digit raises to those in his inner circle. [Arizona Republic, 10/17/17; Arizona Republic, 10/18/17].
- Low pay has created a teacher shortage crisis, with nearly 2,000 positions vacant as of December 2017 [Arizona Republic, 12/20/17].
- Ducey's solution to the crisis? Bringing untrained hires into the classroom instead. Instead of paying qualified teachers what they deserve, he signed legislation that puts teachers without formal training in front of classrooms across the state. [Capital Media Services, 5/2/17]
Ducey says he wants to invest in education – but the laws he has supported and enacted have sucked scarce funding from high-need students and sent it to the state's richest school districts.
- The laws Ducey has supported and enacted have sucked scarce funding from high-need students and sent it to rich school districts and private schools. Ducey’s proposed $38 million education program increased funding for Arizona’s wealthiest schools by $15 million – while low income school districts only received $13.5 million. [Arizona Republic, 4/24/17]
- Ducey’s education program directed 40% of the program’s funding to the highest-income area schools in the state – and most of those schools had zero percent of students considered low income. [Arizona Republic, 4/24/17]
- Ducey's education commission, which could have addressed the issue of inequities in education funding, instead got nothing done. Ducey claimed his “Classrooms First Council” had “done their job,” despite the fact that the group failed to come with a new funding formula for Arizona’s education system after spending two years trying. [Arizona Republic, 12/14/16]
- During The 2007-2008 Academic Year The State Of Arizona Invested $9,648 Per Student In The Higher Education System, But That Number Dropped To $4,098 During The 2017-2018 Academic Year. “In the 2007-2008 school year, the state put nearly $1.1 billion into the universities ($9,648 per student). Current year state funding is just $4,098 per student. Arizona State University President Michael Crow said tax dollars now cover less than 40% of what it costs to educate an undergraduate Arizona resident. That's about half of what it was a decade earlier.” [Capitol Media Services, 5/24/17]
Ducey claims to be an advocate for schools in Arizona, but his massive expansion of the state’s voucher program has continued to funnel millions of taxpayer funds into already-wealthy schools. The program's lack of oversight has led to instances of fraud amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
- Ducey signed a “massive” expansion of the state’s private school voucher program, which put him in good graces with national conservative groups – including the rich and powerful Koch Brothers network. [Associated Press, 4/11/17; Arizona Republic, 4/7/17; Arizona Republic, 10/31/2017]
- A report by the Arizona Republic found the state’s school voucher program had widely been used by more-affluent students in already high-performing school districts to attend private schools. [Arizona Republic, 2/23/16]
- Audits of the state voucher program uncovered hundreds of thousands of dollars of fraud, forcing the state to pay for expanded accountability and monitoring staff and services to be paid for by taxpayers. [Arizona Republic, 2/1/17]