Ducey to give more funding to schools that follow Arizona law, stay open

Aug 17, 2021, 12:57 PM | Updated: 9:54 pm
(Yasmina Chavez/Las Vegas Sun via AP)...
(Yasmina Chavez/Las Vegas Sun via AP)
(Yasmina Chavez/Las Vegas Sun via AP)

PHOENIX — Gov. Doug Ducey announced Tuesday the state would provide additional federal funding to districts and charters that follow Arizona law and remain open for in-person instruction.

The $163 million from the American Rescue Plan will be distributed among schools that are open for in-person learning as of Aug. 27 and remain in that mode throughout the academic year.

Schools that defy state law during the 2021-22 school year — including those that have mask mandates — will not be eligible for the funding, according to Ducey.

Schools that abide by Ducey’s stipulations could get up to $1,800 in additional funding per student.

“Parents have worked tirelessly over the past year and a half to keep their kids on track,” Ducey said in a press release. “Parents are in the driver’s seat and it’s their right to make decisions that best fit the needs of their children.

“Safety recommendations are welcomed and encouraged — mandates that place more stress on students and families aren’t.”

Ducey also announced $10 million for a relief program for K-12 students and families facing financial and educational barriers due to closures and school mandates that are not in compliance with state law.

A group of Arizona lawmakers in Ducey’s own Republican party last week pushed him take action against public school districts that have imposed face mask mandates.

Among their demands were that Ducey withhold federal funding from districts with mask mandates and give their students vouchers known as Empowerment Scholarship Accounts that can be used at private schools. In all, at least 16 districts in Arizona are requiring students and staff to wear masks while indoors amid fears over the delta variant.

The districts collectively account for 198,000 students and nearly 300 schools, most in Tucson and metro Phoenix.

A Maricopa County judge ruled Monday that Phoenix Union can continue requiring face masks on campus until a new law that was part of the most recent state budget goes into effect on Sept. 29.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona called Ducey’s move “absurdly dangerous” and “anti-science.”

The minimum age to receive the Pfizer shot has been reduced to 12, but it’s still 18 for the other approved versions, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. Children under 12 aren’t able to get the shot.

“Until kids under 12 have access to the vaccine, what are parents supposed to do?” Sinema said in a tweet. “Just hope their kids don’t get sick and end up in the ICU?”

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman said Ducey’s move was “another outrageous attack on public education.”

“Today’s announcements demonstrate a remarkable ability to ignore any lessons gained from a year and a half of dealing with COVID-19,” Hoffman said.

Representative Greg Stanton, a Democrat, called Ducey’s move a “science-denying mission” and a “deeply irresponsible plan.”

“After more than a year of virtual of hybrid learning, it’s time to get children back in the classroom — safely. With those under the age of 12 not yet able to receive a vaccine, the governor’s gambit would put more children in danger,” Stanton said in a statement.

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

A voter casts his ballot at a drop box on Nov. 8, 2022, in Mesa, Arizona. After months of candidate...
SuElen Rivera

Maricopa County Board of Supervisors responds to AG’s office about voting issues

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors on Sunday responded to the Arizona Attorney General's Office about voting issues on the Nov. 8 election.
21 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Enchant Scottsdale)...

Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from Nov. 25-27

More Christmas events are popping up around the Valley and the police are looking for tips into a couple homicides over the weekend. Here are this weekend's top stories.
21 hours ago
(Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)...

Suspect arrested after man fatally shot at Phoenix gas station

A man allegedly involved in the fatal shooting of a man at a Phoenix gas station was arrested Saturday.
21 hours ago
(Pexels Photo)...

Detectives investigating fatal hit-and-run with pedestrian in wheelchair in Goodyear

A woman in a wheelchair died after she was struck by a vehicle in Goodyear Saturday evening, authorities said.
21 hours ago
(City of Peoria Photo)...
Audrey Jensen/Phoenix Business Journal

Peoria approves tax incentive agreement with mixed-use project developer

Peoria moved forward with what could be the final development agreement needed for a new mixed-use office project called Stadium Point.
21 hours ago
Follow @KTAR923...

Downtown Chandler hosts life-sized holiday treats display ‘Sugarland’

Downtown Chandler kicked off the holiday season with an interactive Christmas display filled with life-sized treats on Saturday.
21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
Ducey to give more funding to schools that follow Arizona law, stay open