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Nogales Unified School District teachers will get a five-percent raise in the coming school year, following approval by the district’s governing board on Monday.

The teachers’ raise follows a 10-percent increase last year, part of a statewide plan to raise teachers’ salaries by 20 percent over three years. Lawmakers allocated additional money to school districts starting with last year’s state budget after teacher protests and walkouts last spring as part of the #RedforEd movement.

“When everything is added together, especially the fact that NUSD pays 100 percent of the insurance costs and allocates (state funding) at such a high level, teachers in NUSD earn some of the highest compensation in Southern Arizona,” Superintendent Fernando Parra said in a news release.

Larry Frederick, vice-president of the Professional Educators of Nogales, which represents NUSD teachers, said via email that his organization anticipates a further five-percent raise for educators next year.

And while NUSD offers competitive compensation, Frederick said, some veteran educators have had pay increases frozen since the great recession, resulting in lower pay for some of the district’s experienced teachers.

Other NUSD employees will see their salaries increase by 3.5 percent in fiscal year 2020, according to the plan approved Monday.

Districtwide, spending is set to tick up to $36.8 million in fiscal year 2020, up from $36.5 million in 2019, after the board passed a tentative budget at the same meeting.

Meanwhile, the tax rate levied by the school district will inch down – from 5.92 percent in 2019 to 5.67 percent in 2020. But since the assessed property values in the district have risen, revenues for the schools are still set to grow.

The district must post the budget and hold a public hearing before issuing final approval.

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