ARIZONA NEWS

Gov. Ducey says Arizona school funding won’t go to ‘empty seats’

Jan 12, 2021, 9:15 AM
(AP Photo)...
(AP Photo)
(AP Photo)

PHOENIX — Schools that have lost students during the pandemic would see their funding cut under a proposal Gov. Doug Ducey outlined Monday in his annual State of the State address, a speech that hardened his longstanding resistance to school and business closures.

The Republican governor warned schools that he expects them to offer in-person instruction as teachers gain access to the coronavirus vaccine.

“We will not be funding empty seats or allowing schools to remain in a perpetual state of closure,” Ducey said. “Children still need to learn, even in a pandemic.”

Ducey wants to fund public and charter schools based on their actual enrollment, not at prepandemic levels, said Getchen Conger, Ducey’s deputy chief of staff.

That could open up big holes in the budgets for schools, which statewide have seen enrollment decline by about 4%, according to the Department of Education.

Ducey’s comment were initially interpreted by many to mean he wanted to cut funding for remote learning.

The governor wants all children to have an option for in-person learning but he would not defund virtual education, Conger said.

Ducey has refused pressure from Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman, a Democrat, to pause in-person learning amid a rise in coronavirus infections that is crushing hospitals.

But Monday’s speech was the most aggressive he has delivered in pushing for schools to fully reopen their doors.

Hoffman said Ducey was ignoring the reality of COVID-19 and its effects on schools, teachers and students, saying schools had gone “above and beyond” to ensure learning continued during the pandemic. Ducey’s funding plans won’t sit well with them, she said.


“I think many educators will take that as a slap in the face, especially those who have been teaching from home since March under these very difficult circumstances,” she said.

In his seventh and shortest state-of-the-state address as governor, Ducey spoke directly to a camera from his office in the State Capitol.

The pandemic-era precaution came in place of the traditional pomp and circumstance of a speech that is normally delivered to a joint session of the Legislature, state Supreme Court justices, agency heads and foreign consuls.

Ducey called for more money to help children falling behind because they have been away from their classrooms, a problem he said has affected particularly low-income students and children of color. Resources could include funding for summer school, longer school days and one-on-one tutoring.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

(Facebook Photo/Brophy College Preparatory)...
Associated Press

Brophy College Prep in Phoenix reports widespread cheating

The principal of Brophy College Preparatory says the prestigious private Phoenix high school has learned of “widespread even pervasive” cheating in its all-male student body.
22 hours ago
Clouds pass over drought-stricken Lake Mead on May 10, 2022 in the Lake Mead National Recreation Ar...
Associated Press

Tucson willing to take 20% less water to help Lake Mead shortage

The Tucson City Council included its potential willingness to take 20% less CAP water to keep more in the reservoir.
22 hours ago
(Facebook photo / State Farm Stadium)...
Associated Press

Glendale adopts new short-term rental regulations ahead of Super Bowl

Glendale has preemptively adopted rules regulating short-term rental properties before the city welcomes visitors for the 2023 Super Bowl.
22 hours ago
(Pexels photo)...
KTAR.com

Arizona sees significant jobs increase in April, per employment report

The state of Arizona saw a 13,100 jobs increase in the month of April, according to the Arizona Commerce Authority's monthly report.
22 hours ago
(Pexels photo)...
KTAR.com

Rio Salado’s Dental Clinic offering free dental work to Arizona’s veterans on Saturday

Arizona's veterans can receive free dental cleanings, dentures, fillings, oral surgery and crowns Saturday at Rio Salado’s Dental Clinic.
22 hours ago
A 9mm pistol build kit with a commercial slide and barrel with a polymer frame is displayed during ...
KTAR.com

Felon from Arizona convicted of firearm, ammo possession, including ‘ghost gun’

An Arizona felon was found guilty of illegally possessing over 20 firearms, including a “ghost gun,” and thousands of rounds of ammunition.
22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
(Twitter photo / Coco5)...
Coco5

Suns star Devin Booker’s all-natural sports drink Coco5 perfect for any activity

Devin Booker is leading the Suns in pursuit of their first NBA championship while also working to provide people proper hydration with Coco5.
...
By Dr. Richard Carmona

Now’s a great time to receive your COVID-19 vaccine

If you haven’t received a COVID-19 vaccine yet, now’s the time to join many other of your fellow Arizonans who are doing so right now. No one will criticize you; there is no shame. In fact, you’ll be welcomed with smiles and open arms!
Gov. Ducey says Arizona school funding won’t go to ‘empty seats’