TUCSON — Linda Archuleta joined dozens of colleagues on a street corner in downtown Tucson this week for what education leaders call a Red For Ed reminder rally.
Archuleta has spent the last 20 years as a guidance counselor, an educational support professional who’s not part of the ’20 by 2020′ plan.
Last session, Gov. Doug Ducey and lawmakers promised to give classroom teachers a 20 percent raise by 2020 after the historic teacher walkouts.
“It bothers me because the cost of living keeps going up but my heart is with the kids,” Archuletta said. “I love what I do. I love my job, I feel like that’s what I’m supposed to be doing but now it’s harder and harder to do it and buy groceries and pay rent.”
Archuleta works for Tucson’s Roberts-Naylor K-8 School. She is the only school counselor for nearly 600 students.
“Their needs aren’t being met,” Archuleta said. “So, if their social needs and their emotional needs aren’t being met than their academic needs can’t be met either.
Gov. Ducey’s office tells News 4 Tucson, the governor proposed a new plan through a school safety grant to bring more than 200 new counselors to Arizona schools over the next two years.
“Gov. Ducey recognizes the importance of student counselors and their invaluable role in our schools,” Communications Director Patrick Ptak said. “That’s why this year’s budget includes $12 million to fund an additional 224 school counselors across the state. This is the first time in Arizona’s history that a budget has included funds specifically for new counselors. This year’s budget includes $637 million new dollars for K-12 public schools.”