By: Lisa Graham Keegan, A for Arizona
With the release of today’s budget proposal, Governor Ducey signals his intention to make a transformative impact on Arizona schools and students.
The Governor’s proposal sends $114 million new and on-going dollars to K-12 classrooms—a strong and clear message on where education ranks as a priority within his Administration. We’re cheering how the money is directed as much as the amounts.
The Governor’s plan directs education dollars to Arizona teachers and he aggressively attacks the achievement gap that exists between low and upper income students. His biggest investments are increases in teacher pay and additional funding that can support and hopefully help to expand our highest performing schools—particularly those in high poverty neighborhoods where accessing quality schools is a challenge. We join many of our colleagues and school leaders in believing that directing dollars into successful schools is Arizona’s best shot at getting the most students into the best schools as quickly as possible.
Increasing the number of students who have access to high performing schools, particularly in low-income areas, could drastically and immediately increase opportunity for those living in low-income, rural, or tribal communities where quality options are limited. For these students, families and communities, it’s a game changer.
The Governor’s budget also supports critical issues including early literacy, building renewal, and university capital support. All of these items leverage each other, and add up to a plan that lays a foundation for expanding excellence for Arizona kids. As proposed, the executive budget delivers a huge win for Arizona families and communities, who are the real beneficiaries of smart investments in education. We commend Governor Ducey for taking such strong action in response to families’ calls to invest more in the excellent teachers and schools we entrust our children to each day.
We love this focus, we are grateful for the opportunity to support these proposals, and we are ready to get to work!