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Gov. Doug Ducey calls for results-based bonuses for Arizona schools

(Pixabay photo)

PHOENIX — Gov. Doug Ducey says he wants to reward high-performing Arizona schools by giving them bonuses, but a children’s advocacy group worries it could leave schools with the most need behind.

The governor’s 2020 budget calls for $98 million in results-based funding to reward schools with high outcomes, up from the $39 million the state allocated for these bonuses in 2017. The focus would be on schools with high populations of low-income students.

Ducey’s budget also calls for boosting funding for K-12 public schools by $636 million.

“These investments continue my commitment to increasing funding for public schools every year – above and beyond inflation,” Ducey said earlier this year.

But Dana Wolfe Naimark, president and CEO of Children’s Action Alliance, said she worries the bonuses could leave some schools behind.

“It’s draining our precious resources by only going to schools and students that are already doing well and it’s leaving the students who are struggling the most and facing the biggest challenges behind,” she said.

Naimark said the increased bonuses also don’t address school funding issues.

“State lawmakers should reject this expansion and focus fiscal year 2020 funding on accelerating the restoration of classroom funding and funding for school facility maintenance and repair,” she said.

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