After Gov. Ducey signs tax extension, teachers say it's not enough

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On the same day Gov. Doug Ducey extended a tax to pay fund education, leaders in a growing teachers group vowed to keep up the pressure on state leaders for better teacher pay. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) On the same day Gov. Doug Ducey extended a tax to pay fund education, leaders in a growing teachers group vowed to keep up the pressure on state leaders for better teacher pay. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Ducey's signature followed increasing pressure from teachers and education officials to pump more money into K-12 schools, which suffered steep budget cuts during the recession. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Ducey's signature followed increasing pressure from teachers and education officials to pump more money into K-12 schools, which suffered steep budget cuts during the recession. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Educators across Arizona have united in the "RedForEd" movement. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Educators across Arizona have united in the "RedForEd" movement. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The RedForEd movement is planning to lay out their demands at a demonstration planned for Wednesday at the state Capitol. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The RedForEd movement is planning to lay out their demands at a demonstration planned for Wednesday at the state Capitol. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

On the same day Gov. Doug Ducey extended a tax to pay fund education, leaders in a growing teachers group vowed to keep up the pressure on state leaders for better teacher pay. 

Noah Karvelis, one of the top organizers of the "#RedForEd" movement, said a widespread teacher strike is still an option. 

[RELATED: Arizona governor signs education sales tax extension]

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona Politics]

"Our backs are against the wall, change needs to happen, so we don't want to go on strike but if that's what it ultimately takes I think everybody here is prepared to essentially do that," Karvelis said. 

His comments came as the governor signed legislation extending a .6 percent sales tax that brings in more than $600 million a year for schools. 

Ducey's signature followed increasing pressure from teachers and education officials to pump more money into K-12 schools, which suffered steep budget cuts during the recession. 

[READ MORE: Arizona teachers protest low pay at state Capitol]

However, Karvelis said the move wasn't enough as low teacher pay has led to teacher shortages as many say they can't afford to stay in the classroom. 

"If we're going to keep teachers in the state we got to be on par with not just whoever's second to last but the rest of the region and the rest of the nation," Karvelis said. 

He and others connected with the #RedForEd movement are planning to lay out their demands at a demonstration planned for Wednesday at the state capitol. 

[RELATED: Arizona teachers organizing to fight for better pay]

Karvelis, a 23-year-old elementary school teacher, wouldn't say exactly how much money teachers will be demanding. 

To pay for a 10 percent pay bump would cost taxpayers in excess of $320 million a year. 

[MORE: Hundreds protest low teacher pay at Phoenix radio station]

Currently, the governor is offering a total of $400 million in new money for K-12 schools, with $34 million set aside for teacher pay raises. 

In addition, the governor supported Proposition 123 which passed in 2015. 

The ballot initiative, which narrowly passed, adds about $3.5 billion to schools over 10 years. 

[RELATED: AZ teachers wear red in push for pay raise; future strike a possibility]

"Those things are band-aid fixes for a gaping hole," Karvelis said. 

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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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