“This budget prioritizes K-12 education, especially our schools, students, and teachers in low-income areas who need the help the most,” said Governor Ducey. “It responsibly utilizes the resources we have available to invest in education and expand opportunities for everyone in our state, including our most vulnerable citizens. Because of the responsible decisions made over the past two years and the support from voters to end the education lawsuit, we are on firm financial footing and have the ability to invest real dollars in areas where they matter.”
Highlights of Governor Ducey’s “Invest In Arizona” Budget Plan:
Invests $114 million in K-12 education above and beyond inflation and enrollment growth.
This results in an additional $453 million in K-12 and higher education over the next three years.
93 percent of ongoing spending proposals are focused on education.
The $114 million increase is (1) above and beyond current funding, (2) on top of $76 million in other adjustments, and (3) in addition to the $3.5 billion in funding approved by voters through Prop 123.
Recommends $204 million over the next five years to give all public school teachers in Arizona the lasting salary increase they deserve—not to mention a $1,000 signing bonus for teachers who commit to teaching in low-income schools.
Provides a $2.8 million appropriation to extend 12 months of additional cash assistance, known as TANF, to Arizonans who are engaged in job search activities and who are working hard to get their kids to school everyday—to help them get off unemployment and stop the cycle of poverty.
Makes an investment in efforts to reduce prison recidivism, including $500,000 to the Department of Corrections for substance abuse counselors and a re-entry planner, and $1.5 million for the Department of Forestry to create a post-release fire crew.
Maintains the structural balance.
Members of the public who can’t make it to the hearing, can watch from their computer and email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additionally, the governor’s office will be holding public hearings in Northern and Southern Arizona. Details are forthcoming.