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Board seeks $165 million from state in 2021 for Arizona’s three universities

PHOENIX – The board governing Arizona’s three public universities wants $165 million from the state under a 2021 budget request intended to make Arizona more competitive.

The new funding model, called “New Economy Initiative: Enhancing Arizona’s Competitiveness,” was approved Thursday by the Arizona Board of Regents during a special meeting, according to a press release.

“The proposal addresses the education and training that the state will need to maintain its prosperity,” ABOR chairman Larry E. Penley said in the release.

“It also enhances the capability of the state to support the development of research that leads to new economy businesses, and it incentivizes student attainment in high school and college with financial aid. Now is the time to capitalize on the state’s momentum.”

The request consists of $100 million for workforce development, $15 million for the Arizona Teachers Academy, $10 million for distributed learning centers, $30 million for defined statewide financial aid and $10 million for new industry research competitiveness.

Of the workforce development portion of the request, $46 million is for Arizona State University, $32 million for the University of Arizona and $22 million for Northern Arizona University.

ABOR also wants the state to make permanent the $35 million appropriation for capital improvements in the 2020 budget.

“We believe this proposed budget represents a strong partnership between the universities and the state and reflects the universities’ duty to work toward the improvement of the state,” ABOR Executive Director John Arnold said in the release.

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