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Arizona's Top Teachers Ask Ducey To Spend Education Money On Raises

Saying the most pressing need is keeping teachers in classrooms, the top teachers in Arizona want Gov. Doug Ducey to spend all of his new education dollars in a pay hike rather than spreading the cash around.

Michelle Doherty and Christine Marsh, the 2017 and 2016 Arizona Teachers of Year, delivered a letter today to the Governor's Office. They want teachers statewide to be given a 4 percent across-the-board pay hike this coming school year.

But the governor says teachers are not his only concern.

"Of course this budget focuses on teachers. It talks about resources for teachers, how to cure the teacher shortage, how to put a permanent pay raise in place. But I also am concerned about kids, especially our kids in low-income areas. So we're trying to address both these issues," Ducey said.

Ducey is offering just a 0.4 percent hike — less than $200 a year — though he promises similar increases until that reaches 2 percent by 2020.

Al Macias, former KJZZ news director, is part of an elite class of trusted, veteran journalists who have covered Arizona news for more than 30 years.