ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona education coalition: Ducey’s proposed budget not enough

Jan 10, 2018, 4:45 AM
(KTAR News/Kathy Cline)...
(KTAR News/Kathy Cline)
(KTAR News/Kathy Cline)
LISTEN: Education proposal not enough

PHOENIX — It’s not enough.

That’s what an Arizona education coalition said about Gov. Doug Ducey’s proposed education budget for 2018.

“Arizona families are tired of being told education is a priority – and then hearing proposals, like the one we heard this morning, that amount to scrounging for change in the couch cushions,” said Dawn Penich-Thacker, AZ Save Our Schools spokeswoman.

“Arizona schools need more than $1 billion just to make up for what we lost a decade ago.”

School funding dipped in 2008, at the start of the Great Recession. The state currently ranks last in the nation in per-pupil spending; its teachers are some of the lowest-paid nationwide.

In a Monday press conference, Ducey proposed giving $100 million to schools next year; $168 million in 2019; and over $300 million in 2023.

He also stated the permanent increases would be flexible – that is, school districts could use them for teacher salaries, building improvements, or whatever’s needed. Ducey’s entire proposed budget will be unveiled Friday.

Coalition member Rev. Andy Burnett is the senior minister for a Universalist congregation in Chandler and part of AZ Save Our Schools. He said all faith traditions require caring for the weak and young, and making sure the young get the best care and education they can.

“Friends, we are a long way from meeting our obligation,” he said. “We have a drastically-underfunded education system that has teacher pay so low that teachers are leaving in droves.

“The proposal on the table seems to offer less than $100,” he said. “We can – and we must – do better.”

The group said if Ducey is not budgeting more money next year, voters may see another ballot initiative next year.

“We’ve said from the beginning that we need funding now, and we need that funding to be substantial,” Penich-Thacker said. “The package that the governor proposed today? If that’s all that we get more details on Friday, we have said from the beginning that we will take matters into our own hands.

“That would entail running an initiative.”

Whatever happens, the group is united on one thing: Arizona schools need more money.

Beth Simek is the mother of two sons, president of the Arizona PTA and a member of AZ Save our Schools.

“Gimmicks and Band-Aids are just not going to cut it,” she said. “We need real solutions, and a real, sustainable funding source.”

 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Getty Images Photo/Roberto Machado Noa)...
KTAR.com

Police investigate death of 45-year-old woman shot in Phoenix

Police are investigating the death of a woman who died from a gunshot wound in Phoenix Friday night.
17 hours ago
FILE - In this Wednesday, May 27, 2020 file photo, Medical personnel adjust their personal protecti...
KTAR.com

Arizona reports 2,482 new COVID-19 cases, 9 more deaths Saturday

Arizona health officials on Saturday reported 2,482 new COVID-19 cases and nine additional deaths from the disease.
17 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...
KTAR.com

Woman dies after being struck by vehicle in Phoenix

An adult woman was killed after getting struck by a vehicle near the intersection of East McDowell Road and North 26th Street in Phoenix on Friday night.
17 hours ago
(Facebook photo/City of Phoenix, AZ USA)...
KTAR.com

Phoenix adopts roadmap to cut emissions, reach net-zero goal by 2050

The city of Phoenix Tuesday approved a climate action plan with the goal of reaching net-zero by 2050 while also reducing 50% of emissions by 2030. 
17 hours ago
(Facebook photo/Special Olympics Arizona)...
KTAR.com

Special Olympics Arizona to kick off fall games next weekend

More than 1,000 Special Olympics athletes across the state will head to the Valley next weekend to compete in the 2021 Fall Games presented by Casino Arizona.
17 hours ago
(Facebook photo/Holiday Light Experience - Salt River Fields)...
KTAR.com

Tickets for Holiday Light Experience at Salt River Fields go on sale

People can begin buying their tickets now to the Holiday Light Experience at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale which is set to get underway in November.
17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Sweet James

Best fall road trips to take on a motorcycle

Autumn in Arizona brings the beauty of color-changing leaves and a relief from summer heat. It’s one of the most pleasant times to explore the outdoors, especially on a motorcycle.
...
Albertsons

Grill like a pro this fall with tips from Albertsons

As the weather cools and football season kicks off, it’s a great time to fire up the grill and enjoy your favorite outdoor meals.
...
BARROW NEUROLOGICAL INSTITUTE

More stroke patients eligible for acute treatment, thanks to research

Historically, patients underwent acute stroke treatments according to strict time guidelines. But thanks to recent advancements in stroke research, more patients are becoming candidates for clot-busting drugs and endovascular therapy at specialized centers like Barrow Neurological Institute.
Arizona education coalition: Ducey’s proposed budget not enough