Arizona lawmakers worked through Wednesday night and into Thursday morning to pass an education funding and teacher pay bill.
Gov. Ducey signed the first of many bills to provide more funding for education and teacher pay early Thursday morning.
The new legislation comes after 6 days of teacher walkouts and school closures and weeks of protesting in the #RedForEd movement.
Teachers have said they will return to the classroom when the bill passes and the walkouts are expected to end.
The $10.4 billion state budget plan provides more than $300 million in raises for many of the state's striking teachers.
Ducey said in a video he tweeted that $100 million of that money will go specifically to support staff.
"This is a real win for our teachers, for our kids, for our educators in the classroom and we're grateful for your help in getting this over the finish line," Ducey said. "We're excited that it's a bipartisan bill and it's time to do this."
Here is the letter Governor Ducey sent out announcing that he had signed the #2020x20 plan into law.
BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS
On April 12, we announced a plan to increase teacher pay by 20 percent -- and I’m proud to report, we’ve delivered. Raises are on the way to Arizona teachers.
The #20x2020 plan has been passed by the legislature and I was proud to sign it into law, providing a 20 percent boost in teacher pay over the next three years and a significant increase in flexible dollars to Arizona schools for new textbooks, technology, infrastructure, and support staff.
Once fully implemented in school year 2020, the plan will constitute an increase of more than $1 billion in education spending.
And this is important: The budget does not compromise essential state services to accommodate our teacher pay package. It maintains the state’s commitment to fund developmental disabilities, skilled nurses, Medicaid, critical access hospitals, the arts, food banks, Alzheimer’s research and higher education. It accomplishes all of this, without raising taxes on hardworking Arizonans.
Over these last several weeks, in particular, I’ve had the honor of hearing directly from our teachers and school leaders. Their input has shaped and improved this plan. I’ve been incredibly impressed by our teachers, and I am grateful for their dedication to providing every child a quality educational experience.
We will never check the box on public education, and it remains one of the state’s most important responsibilities. With our economy growing, there is no better place to invest our dollars.
Our teachers do amazing work inside the classroom, and they have earned this raise.