#RedForEd not slowing down despite pay hike proposal

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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

#RedForEd isn't dead, yet. 

A day after Governor Doug Ducey promised 20 percent teacher pay raises, members of the grassroots organization are expressing doubt he will deliver and plan on staging more demonstrations next week. 

"As far as trust goes with this particular governor, we've been burned in the past as educators," said Amber Gould, an English teacher in Glendale. 

Fueling the skepticism is a number of unanswered questions such as how the governor plans to pay for the raise, which will cost nearly $700 million a year. 

Ducey says he's using $274 million in excess state revenues to help fund the pay bump. 

But details get sketchy after that. 

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona Schools in Crisis]

During a press conference on Thursday, the governor said he was counting on a robust economy and scaling back other budget priorities to pay for the full raise by 2020. 

#RedForEd organizer Dylan Wegela still has questions about the proposal, too.

“It’s nice to see the governor moving in the right direction, however I’m still a little bit weary of where that funding is coming from," he said. "If it’s coming from the budget they have established, is that going to come from a pot that could potentially hurt our students from the long run to fund teachers’ salaries and I don’t think that’s something that we would be for.” 

Regardless, Gould says the #RedForEd movement isn't slowing down. 

She said more actions are planned for Wednesday to keep the pressure on state leaders. 

"Not only are we planning walk-ins next week but they are going to be even bigger," she said.  

Wegela says the group will be watching what legislators decide over the weekend as they decide what type of action to take. He still hasn't ruled out a teacher walk-out.

Because getting a raise for teachers is only 1 of 5 demands #RedForEd has, Wegela isn't ready to call the proposal a total success just yet. He feels if they were to take the teacher raise and then just move on, they'd be giving up on the fight for their students.

"I think that this does show how effective it is when teachers stand up and use their voice," he 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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