What They're Saying: Arizona's Budget

News Release

February 1, 2018

PHOENIX — Last month, Governor Ducey released his fiscal year 2019 Executive Budget, a fiscally responsbile plan that dedicates 80% of new investments to K-12 public schools. 

The budget restores $100 million to a key part of the K-12 education funding formula that schools can use for capital and operations, including increasing teacher pay, and includes a commitment to phase in over five years a full restoration of $371 million in Additional Assistance. In total, the budget invests $400 million into public schools, while protecting our most vulnerable and public safety and mantaining balance.  

Read what others are saying about Governor Ducey's plan:

Mike Cowan, Superintendent, Mesa Public Schools
“This money will be used to fund important resources for our students: textbooks and technology, and safe learning environments for our teachers and students. These are real dollars that will be put into the system now to help the students that we’re currently serving.” (LINK)

Camille Castille, Superintendent, Chandler Unified School District
"The proposal that Governor Ducey has announced today will impact all students regardless of their education choice, socioeconomic status, or place of residence." (LINK)

Calvin Baker, Superintendent, Vail School District
"In addition to restoring the capital formula, this plan also provides a significant amount of money for new schools and provides more funding for building renewal than we have seen in a decade.

"Governor Ducey has heard the voices of public school leaders, responded to our priorities and come up with a plan that is a very significant step towards better funding and thus more opportunities for our students." (LINK)

Sean Rickert, Superintendent, Pima Unified School District
"Governor Ducey has consistently worked to make good on his election promise to provide additional funding for public education where possible. Governor Ducey has earmarked $100 million in new spending for K-12 public schools." (LINK)

Ken Van Winkle, Superintendent, Safford Unified School District
“Safford School District is excited for Governor Ducey’s plan to restore cuts that were made in the past as the economy in Arizona was at risk. The cuts made in the past by the Legislature have affected school district budgets drastically and basically tied our hands as we attempted to provide funding for salaries along with building and facility needs. Because of the drastic cuts in the past, SUSD has had to use the money we normally would have used for teacher salaries to instead buy furniture and equipment, computers, vehicles and make needed repairs to school buildings. This plan will help us take care of that problem." (LINK)

Shad Housley, Superintendent, Show Low Unified School District
“We all know we are a long way from funding education at the levels pre-2008, but I believe if carried out the way the plan was stated we would be moving in the right direction.” (LINK)

Michael Wright, Superintendent, Blue Ridge Unified School District
“Given the immediate and pressing needs of our schools, and the impact of years of deferred maintenance, any additional assistance is meaningful. The governor’s proposal provides some level of immediate relief for all districts, with increases over time. I think his plan is a step in a positive direction.

“The most meaningful components are those that provide financial assistance with some degree of flexibility. That’s a positive." (LINK)

Diane Douglas, Superintendent of Public Instruction
"It is great to finally see a path forward to restoring recession-era cuts to Arizona’s school facilities. It was most encouraging to see one of the plaintiffs in the pending school facilities lawsuit discontinue its litigation in response to this proposal.

"I have always preferred paying teachers instead of lawyers. I am pleased to join Senate President (Steve) Yarbrough, House Speaker (J.D.) Mesnard, as well as local school superintendents and officials in supporting the plan." (LINK)

Board of Directors, Arizona Association of School Board Officials
"(W)e believe that the Governor’s proposal has merit and provides the kind of support that brings immediate relief to our school districts versus waiting for the outcome of the lawsuit." (LINK)

Michael Crow, President, Arizona State University
"The research infrastructure bill signed into law by the governor last session is now enabling the construction of multiple new state-of-the-art research facilities that will advance educational opportunities, research and high-tech industry in Arizona. We appreciate the state’s support of these new facilities." (LINK)

Rita Cheng, President, Northern Arizona University
"We appreciate the Governor’s recognition of Arizona’s universities in the State of the State address, his strong commitment to improving the Arizona economy and his incorporation of a new university funding model in his budget recommendation released today." (LINK)

Eileen Klein, President, Arizona Board of Regents
"Both K-12 and higher education are paramount to a thriving economy, competitive workforce and strong future. Governor Doug Ducey’s budget proposal clearly prioritizes public education. We appreciate his support and value his ongoing commitment to bolster our public universities in setting these priorities for our state.

“The majority of our students come from Arizona. But with a growing economy and rising workforce expectations, we need even more students throughout our state who are prepared to learn after high school. We are pleased that the governor’s budget again makes K-12 education the largest beneficiary of new state dollars over the coming year to help more students get the education they need to prepare for work and college.” (LINK)

Annette Reichman, Superintendent, Arizona School for the Deaf and the Blind
“Governor Ducey’s ‘Invest in Arizona’ budget outlines a clear path toward improving the quality of education for all kids in Arizona, one that will forever change the life outcomes of children who are deaf and/or blind. Governor Ducey’s proposal, with the support of Arizona legislators, will help ASDB recruit and retain teachers amidst a critical teacher shortage, and ensure families with infants and toddlers who are deaf and/or blind get the resources their children need to succeed.

“For making the full funding of ASDB’s early childhood and intervention program a top priority, Governor Ducey will be forever improving literacy, learning and life outcomes for thousands of children who are deaf and/or blind throughout our great state.” (LINK)

Eileen B. Sigmund, President and CEO, Arizona Charter Schools Association
"Governor Ducey released a budget proposal that reflects his commitment to K-12 education and makes crucial investments in Arizona schools, teachers and students.

"As he had promised, public education receives the lion’s share of new dollars in the Governor’s spending plan; K-12 schools would see a welcome infusion of $400 million in the coming year. That includes much needed additional resources for capital, teacher pay and other school needs." (LINK)

Greg Donovan, Superintendent, Western Maricopa Education Center (West-MEC)
"It was important that the smaller schools recover first after the state cut funding for the JTEDs. But now it is time for all of our schools to have the money restored. The $2 million is a significant increase for us and we appreciate the Governor’s commitment to expanding access to career and technical classes." (LINK)

Alan Storm, Superintendent, Pima JTED
"Every dollar counts as we are teaching students to get them ready for the workforce the day after graduation. This money will bring the latest technology to our classrooms and prepare students for success in careers after school." (LINK)

Janice Palmer, Vice President and Director of Policy, Helios Education Foundation
"Too many times, schools must choose between funding inside the classroom and funding the capital needs that facilitate quality education. This additional funding acknowledges that all needs are important." (

Christine Thompson, President and CEO, Expect More Arizona
“In light of available revenue, the governor’s proposal is significant as it allocates the majority of available state funds to support education. Most important is the governor’s pledge to restore district and charter additional assistance. These funds can be used for a number of purposes and has the potential to free up dollars to support other priorities such as increasing teacher pay. While we cannot fix the entirety of our funding issues overnight, this proposed budget is an important step forward." (LINK)

Dr. Sally Downey, Superintendent, East Valley Institute of Technology
“(I) would just like to say how much I appreciate Gov. Ducey's support for Arizona public education, EVIT and quality (career technical education). His budget includes 100% funding for (the) state's largest JTEDs. This supports the important role we play in Workforce Development.” (LINK)

Rebecca Gau, Executive Director, Stand for Children Arizona
“We commend the Governor for showing his commitment to public education with his budget release today. A lot of us have a sense of urgency to improve the education level of kids in our state. Today we can pause and thank the Governor for this important step addressing the recession-era cuts.” (LINK)

Emily Anne Gullickson, Executive Director, A for Arizona
"We are fortunate the Governor recognizes the great gains happening in Arizona schools and sees this achievement as worthy of serious investment. In fact, on Governor Ducey’s watch, nearly $1 billion of classroom and school facilities funding has been restored or increased. These dollars are flexible at the local level and support expansion of excellence, teacher pay, early literacy and the costs of maintaining safe classrooms." (LINK)

Tom Kertis, CEO and President, St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance
"The Governor has personally rolled up his sleeves and taken part in our annual Thanksgiving distributions for the past three years. He has seen up close how important a role Arizona food banks play in not only feeding Arizonans but providing healthy food options. But getting this food from the farms to tables around the state require an investment in capacity for produce. These grant opportunities will help food banks across the state so that they in turn can help the one in five Arizona families that struggle to feed their children." (

Angie Rodgers, CEO, Association of Arizona Food Banks
"These additional resources are crucial in our fight against hunger...By increasing our capacity to serve more nutritious foods, the Governor has demonstrated his support in addressing the complex hunger issue. We look forward to working with him to help the many everyday Arizonans who temporarily rely on our services to make it through challenging times." (LINK)

“Prioritizing adoption subsidies and more CASAs makes a huge difference for AZ kids. Thank you for your leadership Governor (Ducey).” (LINK)

Dana Kennedy, State Director, Arizona AARP
“Thank you Governor (Ducey) for increasing funding to keep Seniors in their home and out of institutions with home and community based services. This investment saves money and improves quality of life.” (

Glenn Hamer, President and CEO, Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry
“The Executive budget for fiscal year 2019 presented today is extremely encouraging. Directing $284 million above and beyond inflation funding for education is a major investment in our K-12 system. Gov. Ducey made clear during his State of the State address that education would be a priority, and he’s delivered. This, combined, with his plan to settle the lawsuit over capital funding is another example that this governor is a problem-solver and a doer.” (

Jay Whetten, President, Arizona’s Cattlemen's Association
"Governor Ducey listened to cattlemen and addressed a serious issue that jeopardized our industry and we greatly appreciate his efforts." (LINK)

Steven G. Zylstra, President and CEO, Arizona Technology Council
"Governor Ducey’s announcement is a big win for the education and technology community. To reach our goal of becoming a nationwide technology hub, we must build our talent from the ground up, and that starts with education funding. The restoration of this formula is an important step towards a bettertomorrow for our youth and our state." (LINK)

Charles L. Ryan, Director, Arizona Department Of Corrections
“Reducing recidivism reaps significant benefits across the board, from lowering incarceration costs to the State to enhancing public safety. The Executive Budget supports the agency’s efforts to provide effective programming that moves us toward our goal of reducing recidivism by 25 percent within 10 years.” (LINK)

The Arizona State Trooper Association
​"Thanks to (Governor Ducey) for supporting the Arizona Department of Public Safety with additional Trooper positions and addressing the housing conditions for our Troopers in rural Arizona. (The Arizona State Trooper Association) looks forward to continuing to work together to protect the citizens of Arizona." (LINK)