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Gov. Ducey’s FY 2019 Budget Plan Fails Arizona Schools

Governor Ducey released his budget proposal today. There are some trends that are good for kids growing up in Arizona today, including a proposed funding increase for more children who are adopted from foster care and no new prison beds. But his lack of a long term financial plan for public schools fails Arizona. It’s up to us to demand stronger reinvestments and permanent funding sources from our elected leaders this year.

The Governor is focusing attention on his proposal to restore $100 million in classroom funding next year (called “District Additional Assistance and Charter Additional Assistance”). This is one small and necessary step in reinvesting in public schools. His proposal would reverse the budget cut that he proposed and adopted three years ago. But this amount is too low to move the needle on the teacher shortage crisis or on any of our shared educational goals.

Adding together all of his proposals, the Governor’s fiscal year 2019 plan still leaves public schools $952 million short of funding compared to 2008. This leaves Arizona students with a critical shortage of permanent teachers, outdated textbooks and technology, and a harmful lack of specialized teachers and support.

Governor Ducey provides us a glimpse of his future funding plans for public schools. While he promises to reverse some of the previous cuts to schools, he presents no financial plan we can count on. He promises more tax cuts every year, which will continue to shrink resources for public schools. And even at the end of his 5-year plan, public school classrooms will be short $700 million compared to 2008.

Stay tuned for more details on the Governor’s budget plan next week.

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