Arizona Education Association President Hopes Legislators Focus On School Funding Increases

By Matt Kling
Published: Monday, April 8, 2019 - 8:34am
Updated: Monday, April 8, 2019 - 8:45am
Arizona Education Association
Joe Thomas is a public school teacher and the president of the Arizona Education Association.

Months before a new fiscal year begins for the state, Arizona Education Association President Joe Thomas suspects legislators are not on the same page when it comes to education funding.

Thomas said it would take a lot for teachers to repeat last year’s strike, but isn’t ruling one out if lawmakers do not commit to better funding for education.

“We’re having difficulty hiring people in the state of Arizona, because we have a reputation that we don’t fund our schools very well," Thomas said.

"We have great kids in this state, great families that we serve," Thomas said. "We want to make sure we give them all the opportunities they deserve for a full education.”

Last year, teachers walked off the job before lawmakers passed Gov. Doug Ducey’s plan for 20 percent pay raises by 2020. This month typically serves as a home stretch of the legislative session.

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