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TUSD Superintendent on raises, possible tax backlash

Commits to teacher and staff raises
Posted at 5:39 PM, May 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-08 21:47:59-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - TUSD's superintendent plans to give teachers and support staff all of the nine percent boost state lawmakers and Governor Ducey just approved--even though the district still needs money for repairs and equipment.  

The superintendent also thinks there could be an angry backlash from a state-mandated tax change that could jack up your tax bill.

People mostly talked about teachers staying out of school and marching for better pay but the bigger picture of who affects students and what they learn extends to support staff like aids, monitors, and librarians.
Technically the nine percent first-year raise could be used for things besides pay but TUSD Superintendent Gabriel Trujillo says he's committed to use it for pay, and not strictly teacher pay.
He thinks teachers will support that.

"I don't see a situation where they're going to come out and say, give us all the money. That's not the relationship that we have. Their leadership has been wonderfully collaborative and supportive of their support staff brothers and sisters."
Trujillo thinks there will be some discussion of which groups get how much of a percentage jump.
Other moves by lawmakers raise other concerns, including the Legislature's decision to stop funding TUSD's desegregation costs and require TUSD's own taxpayers to pay that bill.
Trujillo says that'll probably add about 250 dollars to the taxes for every 100 thousand dollars of your home's assessed value.

He says, “I'm concerned about frustration and anger, absolutely."
He's also concerned the tax will eat into the raises TUSD employees are about to receive.

"We have almost 3200 of our own employees that live inside of our TUSD attendance zone and many of them, the predominant amount of employees that do own homes, are our teachers and our education support professionals."
But Trujillo says shifting the tax was the Legislature's call and it may be challenged in court.