Arizona Education Association

Advocate Summer 2012

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ADVOCACY CORNER Being Able To Do More With Less Is At Risk by Randy Carter Our local associations are doing a great job of doing more with less. Despite Arizona consistently being at the bottom in the nation in per-pupil funding and despite devastating cuts to public school funding in Arizona, our national ranking on average teacher salary is holding steady. Arizona ranked 35th out of 51 in 2010-2011 and 34th out of 51 in 2011-2012. A raft of anti-labor bills threatens our most basic abilities to operate, organize, and negotiate. Senate Bill 1485 even prohibits meet-and-confer for all public sector employees. It is a small comfort to our colleagues who have suffered pay cuts, furlough days, and reduction in force to know that, while salaries are not improving, we are not losing ground to public school employees in other states when it comes to salary. Local associations should take credit for holding the line in the face of unprecedented cuts to public school funding in Arizona. NEA's Rankings and Estimates for 2011 and 2012 serve as the source for much of this report. In 2010-2011, Arizona spent $6,448 per student enrolled for a solid last place in the nation in per pupil funding. The national average for spending per pupil enrolled in that same year was $10,770. We're roughly 40% below the average. At the same time, Arizona's average teacher salary in was $47,553 for 34th place. We were $7,070, or 12.7%, below the national average of $55,623. In 2011-2012, Arizona's spending per pupil enrolled of $6,683 should maintain our firm grip on last place in the nation. The national average in spending per pupil enrolled this year is $10,976. Arizona will be 39% below the national average. Arizona's average teacher salary in 2011-2012 is $48,691, while the national average is $55,643. That is 12.5% below the national average. It is a testament to informed representation at the bargaining table that our standing in average teacher salary has ranged from 32nd place to 35th place over the last decade. That is what makes SB 1485 so bad for school employees. If we were entirely prohibited from talking with school districts about salaries, benefits, and working conditions, imagine how different the figures we have been discussing would look. If you are just hearing about SB 1485, then Go to and sign up to get the Legislative Update/Alert delivered to your home email you are not getting AEA's Legislative Update/ Alert. Your economic future is on the line every day the legislature is in session. Keep up to date by going to www.arizonaea. org and signing up to get the Legislative Update/Alert delivered to your home email. ✒ 22 Summer 2012 ❘ AEA Advocate

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