Arizona teachers are expected to return to school Friday, ending a six-day strike that shut down schools, after Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation that meets some of their demands.
Teachers wanted a 20% pay increase for themselves and support staff, such as librarians and counselors, among other requests. The plan approved Thursday grants the 20% raise to teachers by 2020, but some teacher association leaders are upset that it doesn’t include the support employees.
The bill also boosts education funding by $371 million over five years to restore money cut during the recession—far short of the $1 billion requested by the teachers.
“Even though the economy has recovered, they’re refusing to give us the restoration of our yearly funding,” said Ralph Quintana, president of the Arizona American Federation of Teachers. “It’s a step in the right direction, but it’s not going to fix the problem.”
Despite some unhappiness with the deal, Mr. Quintana said he expects that teachers will return to school Friday.
Mr. Ducey, a Republican, lauded the budget in an online video Thursday.