Teacher gives latest pay raise low marks

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Valerie Meyer said the latest pay increase proposal for Arizona teachers isn't enough. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Valerie Meyer said the latest pay increase proposal for Arizona teachers isn't enough. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
A one percent increase gives teachers an extra $454 a year or $8.73 a week. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) A one percent increase gives teachers an extra $454 a year or $8.73 a week. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Meyer said the wage increase wouldn't cover cost of living. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Meyer said the wage increase wouldn't cover cost of living. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

State lawmakers are now looking to boost teacher pay above and beyond Gov. Doug Ducey's offer.

House Speaker J.D. Mesnard, a Republican from Chandler, said legislators are considering a one percent increase for next year.

[WATCH: Teacher pay expected to be hot topic at state Capitol]

While this is more than Ducey's proposal, it wasn't well received by at least one teacher who believes the state can do better.

"It's frustrating and it hurts a little bit. I've dedicated myself to this career and to not feel valued is really frustrating," said Valerie Meyer, who been teaching in the Valley for 22 years.

[READ MORE: Teacher pay nearly unchanged in 4 years]

Currently, the average teacher salary in Arizona is $45,477 a  year, according to the Arizona Education Association.

Gov. Doug Ducey made teacher pay a top legislative priority when he delivered his annual State of the State address in January.

Ducey offered to boost teacher pay by 0.4 percent for the first year. That adds up to an extra $181 a year or $3.48 a week.

A one percent increase gives teachers an extra $454 a year or $8.73 a week.

[RELATED: Education group demands better pay for teachers]

Teacher pay is a top issue at the state Capitol this year.

Arizona is in the midst of a teacher shortage.

Education officials are concerned that the pay raise proposals won't be enough recruit and retain quality teachers.

The average starting salary for teachers in $34,022, according to the AEA.

The governor's plan would boost their pay by $136 a year or $2.61 a week.

A one percent raise increases new teacher salaries by $340 a year or $6.53 a week.

[RELATED: Why Arizona teachers may not get a paycheck]

"Our house taxes went up by $350 so, you know, I can't keep up with the cost of living. I can't keep up with the health insurance rises," Meyer said.

[RELATED: 23 AZ students for every 1 teacher; ratio among country's highest (Aug. 8, 2016)]

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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Dennis WlechVeteran political reporter Dennis Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona.

Dennis Welch
Political Editor

Before making the move to television, Welch wrote and edited for the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California. Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona and his addition means 3TV will provide a stronger, more robust political presence in Arizona. He joins 3TV from the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California.

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