yes 208 az

Arizona voters approve tax increase to boost educator salaries

Nov. 6, 2020
Surcharge on people earning more than $250,000 a year would bring in more than $800 million for education.

Arizona voters have approved a measure that will raise money for educator salaries by taxing the state's highest earners.

The Arizona Republic reports that Proposition 208, also known as the Invest in Education Act, will raise revenue primarily for educator salaries by adding a 3.5% tax surcharge on taxable income over $250,000 for individuals and $500,000 for couples. A small fraction of taxpayers will be affected.

The measure was born out of the #RedForEd movement in 2018, when educators protesting low salaries and classroom funding pledged to "Remember in November."

[FROM 2018: Arizona approves teacher pay raise; schools reopen]

Educators will likely need to wait awhile to see a difference in their paychecks. David Lujan, one of the authors of the measure, said the money likely would start to flow to salaries in the spring of 2022.

The Joint Legislative Budget Committee estimates that Proposition 208 will raise $827 million for education.

The measure calls for allocating money to the following areas:

  • 50% of the money will go to hiring and raising the salaries of teachers and other certified employees
  • 25% will go to hiring and increasing the salaries of student support staff, including classroom aides and bus drivers.
  • 12% will go to career and technical education programs. 
  • 10% will go to programs dedicated to retaining and mentoring teachers. 
  • 3% will go to scholarships for the Arizona Teachers Academy, which waives college tuition for teachers-in-training who commit to work in Arizona schools after graduation.

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