Post-Special Session Press Conference Remarks 10/30/15

News Release

October 30, 2015

Good afternoon.

We all ran for office to improve the lives of Arizona citizens.

Today, we came through in a big way. And we did it for Arizona kids, families and teachers. I want to thank everyone here today for making it happen.

First and foremost, President Biggs and Speaker Gowan for their leadership in taking this from an idea to a reality. You delivered on the promise of legislative leadership.

The education leaders, for their commitment to getting it done. The education champions and community leaders, who never gave up.

And of course, the legislators – Republican and Democrat – who voted, yes.

We all know, there is plenty of gridlock in politics. But through this effort, we have proven that if we work together, in a spirit of good faith, we can get positive things done for the citizens of this state.

In June, I stood with many here to unveil a plan to better utilize dollars in the state’s Permanent Land Endowment Trust Fund.

We thought we had a winning idea that could help our schools and unify us all behind educators. By working together, collaborating and listening, we made it even better.

  • A $3.5 billion increase in K-12 funding over just the next decade.
  • Permanent certainty for our schools and educators, with additional, ongoing sustainable funding into the future.
  • Real reforms that protect our general fund during tough economic times.
  • Protections to ensure the Land Trust continues to grow and support future generations.
  • And to top it off  this ends the lawsuit, so finally – we can stop paying lawyers and start paying teachers.

In January, I called for an end to this lawsuit in my State of the State address. At times this year, that seemed like impossibility. But because of the individuals on this stage, it happened.

Together, we’re sending a strong message about the value of public education in our state.

To our teachers – we know your worth.

We have immense respect and regard for the work you do for our kids, our schools and our communities. With this plan, you will have the resources you’ve been asking for.

It’s important to never slip into the day-to-day at this Capitol and forget the people we serve.

Since taking office, I’ve traveled Arizona and been inside public schools in every corner of the state, meeting teachers, students, principals and parents.

I’ve been blown away by what I’ve seen. Teachers and principals succeeding and overcoming the odds – often in the most difficult circumstances.

These educators looked me in the eye and told me the challenges they face. Resources are only one of those challenges – but it’s clear it’s an important one.

When the numbers, in the millions and billions, get reported and rounded in the newspaper, it’s easy to forget the real impact. But these are more than dollars and cents on a spreadsheet. These are real dollars that will have a real impact in the everyday lives of our kids and teachers.

These are dollars our kids and teachers will see. Make no mistake.

I want to thank you all and everyone else who came together, to put our citizens first.

I know everyone worked hard through the give-and-take … and that it wasn’t easy – but I also know you did it because you share a commitment to ensuring every student in Arizona has access to a world-class education.