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Arizona education to be a big talking point in Ducey’s third State of the State

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PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey plans to talk a lot about the state’s education system during his third State of the State address on Monday afternoon.

During a one-on-one interview to preview his speech, Ducey said each of his annual addresses focuses on a specific educational topic.

“The first year was dominated by the budget deficit and closing that $1 billion hole that we had,” he said.

His second State of the State pushed Proposition 123, a measure that pumped more money into schools.

“We settled the lawsuit, we put $3.5 billion additional dollars into K-12 education,” he said. “We were able to do it all without raising taxes.”

Ducey said he is optimistic about education because his state is beginning to show signs of economic success. He said companies are choosing to move to and invest in Arizona.

“We feel like we’re on a platform of success and momentum, and we want to continue to drive our economy and we want to continue to improve K-12 education,” he said.

The governor said his speech will give a few details about what he plans on doing this legislative session to build on that momentum.

“We have available dollars and we’re going to be talking about how we’re going to target those so that we can get better outcomes and results inside our classrooms,” he said.

Ducey said his speech will touch on a few educational topics, but he wants the primary focus to be on the state’s teachers.

“I want them to feel the respect they deserve,” he said.

You can listen to the governor’s State of the State address on Monday live on KTAR News 92.3 FM or stream it online.