You may or may not agree that the 20% raise for teachers by the year 2020 was a wise policy. You may even believe that the #20x2020 plan was a calculated political decision in what is sure to be a hotly contested governor’s race.
But, the truth is that Governor Doug Ducey showed leadership and tenacity in the face of strong political pressure and didn’t back down.
Once Ducey and his administration came up with the #20x2020 plan, giving the teachers the 20% raise they wanted, Ducey remained focused on that single message. He didn’t allow himself to be sidetracked by the fact that teachers in the state chose to walkout after the 20% raise was announced. He didn’t go into the weeds on what was obviously a political attack by members of the opposing party. He didn’t get distracted by arguing about hot-button issues suddenly thrown on the table, including a demand for no more tax cuts until education funding reaches the national average.
Ducey just went into campaign mode and repeated his message over and over:
#20x2020. Via social media.
#20x2020. Via TV and radio interviews.
#20x2020. Co-Sign the Plan.
#20x2020. Via newsletters & press releases.
Partisan politics? Political agendas? AFL-CIO? AEA? AEU? Goldwater Institute? Illegal walkouts? Ducey didn’t waver. His message remained focused:
It would have been pretty easy for Ducey to have walked away from the #20x2020 plan and thrown up his hands saying, "I tried. But they will never be satisfied." The Legislature could have approved the budget a lot faster and gone home sooner.
That didn’t happen. Ducey stood firm. #20x2020.
Love it or hate it, approve or disapprove - without Governor Ducey’s dogged determination and leadership, the #20x2020 plan would have never landed on his desk for a signature.
Teachers across the state should be thanking Ducey. Unfortunately, gratitude does not seem to be on the agenda this year.