Report says Arizona falls short of promise to raise teacher salaries by 20%
A new report from the Arizona Auditor General's Office shows the promise made in 2018 to increase teacher pay by 20% by last year fell short. Only 87 of the 205 school districts were able to hit or exceed the promised number.
The report found that the statewide average for teacher salaries only rose by 16.5%.
Auditor General Lindsey Perry said one possibility for why funding fell short is because money was distributed to districts based on how many students attended, not what would be required to reach the laid out goal.
Another is that higher-experience teachers were replaced with lower-paid and less experienced teachers and schools were free to spend the additional money in other areas.
The pandemic likely also had an impact as 50,000 fewer students attended public schools last year compared to 2020.