Tucson may take hit if teacher pay raises are approved

PHOENIX - There is one more source of money for the proposed K-12 budget that could impact you if you live in the Tucson Unified School District and it involves property taxes, desegregating schools, and $16 million.

The bill changes who pays for some of the costs associated with desegregation. 

Tucson Unified is one of 18 districts in Arizona that spends money to desegregate its schools. It gets that money through a property tax but because there's a cap on how much property can be taxed the state would kick in money to make up the difference between what the district has and what it needs.

Under the new plan, the districts which are in Maricopa and Pima County would be wholly responsible for that desegregation money. 

That means property taxes are likely to jump in the TUSD area from 10 percent too much higher. 

Teachers worry it'll hurt parents strapped for cash.

Senator Farley calls it vindictive, "it has the effect of punishing Tusd property owners."

Laura Mcintosh, a TUSD teacher said, "they're like I can bring one reem of paper for you to make copies but that's the most I can do you know I feel bad asking for that. 

The supporters of this move - who said they were in hearings and couldn't talk on camera-- say this is fair because it means people in other parts of the state won't see their taxes spent on what they perceive as a locally grown problem.

Lawmakers are still debating these bills and hearing comments from teachers. 

They're likely to go late tonight to get these bills out of committee so they can be voted on by the full house and senate tomorrow.

 

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