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Tucson school district approves teacher pay raises

TUCSON, Ariz. — Arizona’s second largest school district will give raises to teachers and one-time stipends to support staff.

The board of the Tucson Unified School District this week signed off on nearly $6 million in funding for raises in its more than $552 million budget for the next school year.

New teachers in the district will make $40,200 — an increase of about $1,500 from the starting pay last year. Pay for other teachers will also increase by about $1,500.

The raises come after the state increased the base-level spending formula by about $112 per student. The formula change was intended give teachers a 5% raise, but the state based the raise calculations on 2017 salaries and did not account for non-teaching personnel.

“They didn’t provide the funding for everyone, so this district won’t see a true 5% raise because we’re sharing that 5% among all the ed-support professionals,” Tucson Education Association President Margaret Chaney told KVOA-TV .

Employees such as custodians, teaching assistants, nurses and secretaries will get one-time stipends of $350, the district’s executive director of financial services, Renee Weatherless, told the Arizona Daily Star .

The district’s occupational therapists, physical therapists and speech-language pathologists will receive 1% step increases, so the amount will vary depending on the individual’s experience.