News from the labor front, my latest at Pacific Standard.
As the threat to strike grew, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey promised a hefty 20 percent raise for all teachers by 2020 (which would still leave the state’s teachers far below the national average). Rather than generate new revenue to cover the cost, though, Ducey, as reported by the Arizona Capitol Times, is counting on “rosy revenue projections and a mix of funding sweeps, lottery revenues, and spending reductions.” The rosy projections are imaginary, but the sweeps and reductions will be all too real. The targets for cuts include arts and university programs, but also programs for people with developmental disabilities and children who need extra help learning English.
Twenty percent might sound like a lot, but Arizona teachers weren’t striking to pad their pockets, but rather to shift the whole funding structure for higher education.