Education tax signed, but teachers say their backs are against the wall

Gov. Doug Ducey chats with former Gov. Jane Hull March 26, 2018, as Ducey signs an extension of Proposition 301, a sales tax dedicated to funding education in the state. Hull was the governor when voters gave their approval of the tax in 2000. Behind them from left are House Speaker J.D. Mesnard, House Minority Leader Rebecca Rios, Rep. Doug Coleman, R-Apache Junction, Sen. Kate Brophy-McGee, R-Phoenix. /Photo courtesy of the Governor’s Office

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Capitol Times

Gov. Doug Ducey inked his approval Monday to extending the 0.6-cent sales tax for education until 2041 as an education group which helped pressure for legislative action is mapping out what it plans to do to get some new money into classrooms — including a possible strike.

Related: Regents President Eileen Klein to step down from role in June

Noah Karvelis, a music teacher at Tres Rios Elementary School in Tolleson, said the “Red for Ed” demonstrations that may have helped push lawmakers and the governor to approve the extension will continue. But he said teachers are hoping for a broader agenda, including a demand that the tax cuts that have been annual features of the Ducey administration and of predecessor Jan Brewer come to a halt.

But that’s not going to happen.

Gubernatorial press aide Daniel Scarpinato said his boss remains committed to a tax break for military retirees, exempting the first $10,000 of their pensions from state income tax. The figure is currently $2,500, the same as for retirees from other government agencies

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