Education funding Prop 208 remains undecided

Posted at 9:03 PM, Nov 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-05 01:27:46-05

TUCSON, Ariz. — "It means that we can now afford to hire more teachers at better salaries. We will be able to retain teachers who have years of experience."

Margaret Cheney, President of the Tucson Education Association said Arizona Proposition 208 could fund more resources and professionals for students.

"We'll be able to hire more counselors, social workers, support staff as well as scholarships for teachers to become teachers."

Here's a breakdown of what, if passed, it would pay for, according to the State Legislature's fiscal analysis:

-50% for raises and hiring new teachers

-25% for raises for student support staff

-10% for teacher retention

-12% for Career and Technology Education programs

-3% will pay for tuition waivers for students who commit to teaching after college

Here's how it would be funded:

A 3.5% surcharge will be added to the existing 4.5% income tax rate to the following:
- Households of single filers and married couple filing separately that earn $250,000 or more per year

- Households of married couples filing jointly and persons filing as a head of household earning more than $500,000 or more per year.

In effect those households will now have a tax rate of 8%.

At TUSD the TEA says it would like to see those funds pay for smaller classes sizes and more diversity.

"The student teacher ratio, resources that teachers have available to them for their students, recruiting more teachers of color, more male teachers at the lower grade levels," Cheney said

She adds educators have been told the funds wouldn't apply to education budgets until early 2022 when the state collects a full year's worth of taxes.