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ABC15 takes a look at the state's budget before it's officially released

Posted at 9:40 PM, May 01, 2017

ABC15 is confirming new information about the new state budget before those budget bills are released Tuesday.

According to several sources at the state capitol, the plans will include a one-percent raise for teachers this year and another one-percent raise the following year.

The school year may be winding down for Rachel Stafford, an English teacher at Mesquite High School in Gilbert, but this classroom veteran is making sure her kids are learning until the very last day.

After all, teaching is her passion, even after so many years.

"After 20 years, I know it was the best decision I ever made," explains Stafford.

Stafford stands by that decision, despite the long hours, low pay -- even having to grade AP essays during the summer to make extra cash.

"It's rewarding, but joy doesn't pay the bills," Stafford said.

But during a Monday interview on KTAR's Mac & Gaydos Show, Governor Doug Ducey reassured listeners education - specifically teacher salaries - would be a part of his budget.

"We want to see teachers get a real raise," Ducey explained on the show. "I want to see as much money go to K-12 education and teachers' raises in this budget cycle as possible."

Stafford says it's definitely a step in the right direction, but nowhere near where those salaries should be. She worries it's making it too easy for teachers to pack up and leave the classroom for good.

"It's really hard to say, 'Please stay and take a vow of poverty,'" she explains. "People just can't afford to do that."

There is a protest that will kick off at the state capitol at 4 p.m. Tuesday.