Governor Doug Ducey’s State of the State address looked at 2016 as the year of education reform. We could not agree more.
The Governor mentioned several key education initiatives in his speech:
- Urged support of Proposition 123 – which will go before Arizona voters in May – that gives schools $3.5 billion over the next ten years.
- Utilize current funds ($24M) in the Arizona Public School Achievement District combined with new funding that will not impact the General Fund to make it easier and more affordable for the best public schools to expand.
- Provide resources for aging schools to repair and rebuild their facilities.
- Reward schools that produce students who successfully complete AP-level, college-prep courses with more funding.
- Give low-income area schools more funding.
- Target high-need employment sectors with a new focus on CTE.
- Partner with the heads of philanthropic foundations in Arizona who are investing in our schools to develop new school leaders, expand educational opportunities for low-income children, and funding the arts and sciences.
- Acknowledged the work of Dr. Michael Crow with the Barrett Honors College at ASU along with the other universities and community colleges and intends to be a partner in strengthening Arizona higher education.
As we look at the new year, Stand for Children Arizona vows to continue its active role in the Arizona legislature to support policies that ensure every child, regardless of zip code, is prepared for and has access to a college education. We think a lot of these ideas show promise and look forward to working with the legislature and the Governor’s office in addition to seeing more details when the Governor’s budget recommendations are released on Friday.
Our focus will continue to include protecting high education standards and upholding legislation that supports accountability on behalf of all of Arizona’s students.
We will encourage our legislators to invest more in education funding “...this year. Next year. And the year after.” And we will encourage all of our supporters and our legislators to pass Proposition 123 as an important first step toward our long-term goal: Base per-pupil funding at $4,350 by July 1, 2019 – with no supplanting in other areas.
Bills have started to drop, and we are already actively working with legislators and the Governor’s office to ensure that any laws enacted this year are moving our state forward, not backward, as we continue to put kids before politics in Arizona.
Standing with you,