Arizona Schools Superintendent Calls For Sales Tax Increase To Fund Teacher Raises

By Carrie Jung, Mark Brodie
Published: Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 1:31pm
Updated: Friday, April 28, 2017 - 7:48am
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Alexandra Olgin/KJZZ
Diane Douglas

Arizona’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, Diane Douglas, Thursday morning announced her support of extending a state sales tax, which pays for education.

Voters approved the six-tenths of a cent tax in 2000; it’s set to expire in 2021.

Douglas wants to increase the tax to a full cent, which she says would generate $400 million a year for teacher salaries and school buildings. KJZZ’s Carrie Jung was at this morning’s announcement by Superintendent Douglas.

Proposition 301 was originally passed by voters in 2000. It increased the state sales tax by six-tenths of 1 percent, but its set to expire in 2021.

Douglas said Thursday she’d like to see an expansion of Proposition 301 go before voters again. This time as a 1-percent sales tax increase with no expiration date.

"We’ve overwhelmingly heard pay our teachers better," said Douglas. "So that’s why I think my guarantee to them needs to be if we’re going to have an increase in the tax, voter approved, that we are going to promise them this time that’s where it’s going to go."

Douglas added the proposal includes an immediate 11-percent increase in teacher salaries, or about $5,000 a year for the average teacher.

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