This Arizona teacher doubled his salary by getting a teaching job in California

 It's inching toward 6:30 a.m. as Rene Castillo steers his Honda Accord onto Interstate 8, a radiant sunrise in his rearview mirror as he begins his daily commute.
Castillo grew up here. Graduated from Yuma High School. And after earning his degree, he came home to teach at San Luis High School.
He expected to spend his career there. 
But after going six years in the Yuma Union High School District without a pay raise and only minor salary increases in other years, Castillo, 34, began to look elsewhere.
He found that with a one-hour commute he could double his pay, to nearly $80,000.
So each morning Castillo's 12-year-old Honda, with 195,000 miles and shaky brakes, rolls across the Arizona state line, past vegetable and alfalfa crops, through the tiny communities of Felicity and Holtville, to El Centro, Calif., where he teaches history at Southwest High School.

"I didn't want to just do it for the money…But then you realize there are other places that are good, and they make me feel valued. I miss San Luis, but I'm happy where I'm at.
"Now, I'm able to get my brakes fixed. Now, I can afford to not have roommates and be able to pay my rent," said Castillo, who ironically, rents rooms to two Yuma teachers.
Castillo isn't alone.
Arizona educators increasingly fled the state between 2014 to 2016 for similar jobs in neighboring California, Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico, according to U.S. Census data compiled by The Arizona Republic. (Data for 2017 and 2018 is not yet available.)
The departures followed years of stagnating wages for teachers, making Arizona teachers among the worst-paid in the country. As hundreds of educators have quit in frustration, Arizona schools are hiring under-qualified, inexperienced teachers to fill in the gaps.
In total, about 730 Arizona educators left each year between 2014 and 2016, with California accounting for more than half of the defections. That migration was a nearly 37% increase from the eight preceding years, which saw an average of 534 educators leave Arizona for neighboring states each year, Census data shows.
The Yuma High School District has lost at least 10 teachers to California districts in recent years, said Superintendent Gina Thompson.
"It's hard, just really hard to watch. But how do you argue against it?" she said.

'Valued and rewarded'

The spike in departures coincided with the first two years of Republican Gov. Doug Ducey's administration.
Now, as Ducey prepares to seek a second term, he faces an outcry over teacher pay as educators hold rallies at the Capitol and staged walkouts aimed at gathering public support to raise school funding. Similar protests in other states have led to strikes.
Teachers have called on Ducey and the Republican-controlled Legislature to immediately raise their pay by 20%.
Ducey has made no indication he'll meet their demands.
Patrick Ptak, Ducey's spokesman, said the governor "believes teachers are the biggest difference-makers out there" and "should be valued and rewarded for their hard work."
In 2018, the median pay for Arizona teachers is $46,949, a 4.6% increase from 2015, or about $2,000 per year. That includes funding from the Ducey-backed Proposition 123, which settled a court ruling that the Legislature had under-funded public schools during the recession.
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