Arizona Media on Doug Ducey’s Pay Raise Proposal: A “Sudden About Face,” “Sharply Changed His Position”

Arizona Republic: “…why didn't our so-called education governor offer a sorely needed pay boost to some of the nation's most poorly paid teachers before now?

PHOENIX – Gov. Doug Ducey yesterday released his so-called “pay raise” for teachers in what was an attempt to save his dwindling reelection chances this fall. In fact, this proposal came after the governor told Arizonans for months that funding for teacher pay raises just weren’t in the cards.

Boy, how a reelection vulnerability changes the mind of an empty-suit politician. Doug Ducey, after years of putting his political interests ahead of Arizonans, suddenly decided to put the state ahead of his Koch Brothers agenda.

And Arizona’s media took notice. Take a look at how Doug Ducey’s election-pandering about face played yesterday.

Arizona Republic: “It was a sudden about face for the governor, who watched as educators in Arizona for weeks protested and threatened a walkout. As recently as Tuesday, Ducey called the protests a "political circus."

Teachers have demanded 20 percent raises next year and restoration of about $1 billion in overall school funding that was cut during the recession. The governor's plan doesn't fully meet their demands, and it’s not yet clear if it will be enough to satisfy them.”

Associated Press: “Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is bending to teacher demands…”

Arizona Republic Column“Suddenly, Gov. Doug Ducey has found the money for a 9 percent pay raise for Arizona's teachers…”

“Suddenly, the governor who has repeatedly and consistently claimed there is no money for decent teacher raises -- the governor who just two days ago dubbed the #RedforEd movement "political theater" -- has found money for decent pay raises.” […]

            “All it took was for the state's teachers to don red and stand up for themselves.

In an election year.”

“…why didn't our so-called education governor offer a sorely needed pay boost to some of the nation's most poorly paid teachers before now?” […]

“Why, three months into the legislative session, can the governor who in January proposed a miserly 1 percent pay raise now offer 9 percent -- with another 10 percent by 2020?

Here's a hint: it's not because he's any big champion of public education.”

Capitol News Services“That infusion of $684 million new dollars, on top of other state aid to schools, would still leave teacher pay in Arizona below the current national average…”

What is clear is that the governor has sharply changed his position. And it is occurring as tens of thousands of teachers staged `walk-ins'' at more than half of the state's public schools as a show of support for that 20 percent demand -- and that, like counterparts in West Virginia and Oklahoma, they would consider a strike.

At the hastily called press conference Thursday, Ducey said he has been working on the teacher pay issue ‘for some time.’”

KTAR: “The announcement came one day after thousands of educators and supporters from schools across Arizona joined forces before classes to participate in so-called “walk-ins.”

“But the governor previously said that he would not concede to the 20 percent increase, instead sticking to a 1 percent raise and telling school districts to get what they could out of $100 million in extra cash that he was putting into his current budget proposal.”

AZ Capitol Times“The governor’s latest proposal comes in the wake of an inspired protest from Arizona teachers, who’ve watched their colleagues in states like West Virginia and Oklahoma spur state leaders to boost funding for K-12 education.”

“Ducey’s recent dismissals of teachers’ demands have left educators so incensed they’ve threatened to strike. Earlier this week, Ducey called the ‘Red for Ed’ movement ‘political theater.’”

Arizona Public Media“The proposal was unveiled one day after teachers at an estimated 1,000 schools across the state staged walk-ins to demand a 20 percent raise.”

ABC 15: “The developments come after more than a month of protests at the state Capitol and at schools across Arizona…”

Cronkite News: “Ducey’s announcement comes after weeks of pressure from the Red For Ed movement…”