Tag: Arizona Capitol Times

Plan in place to fix millions in misallocated school funds

| August 7, 2018
Plan in place to fix millions in misallocated school funds

Nine months after the Arizona Department of Education notified schools it had misallocated millions in funding for special education programs, the federal government has approved a plan to correct the error. 

A plan to remedy similar issues with Title I allocations has also been drafted but will not be finalized until at least next week during a phone call with state representatives.

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#RedForEd advocates return to Capitol to weigh in on ballot language for Invest in Ed proposition (+ Video). See related education news here

| August 1, 2018
#RedForEd advocates return to Capitol to weigh in on ballot language for Invest in Ed proposition (+ Video). See related education news here

About 100 people – many in #RedForEd t-shirts – attended a Legislative Council meeting Wednesday at the Arizona Legislature to determine ballot proposition language for Invest in Education and several other initiatives for the November elections.

The Legislative Council is in charge of creating impartial ballot analyses for every initiative that’s going on the ballot in November – among those are the Outlaw Dirty Money initiative, the Invest in Ed initiative, the Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona initiative, and the Protect Arizona Taxpayers Act, said Chris Kotterman, director of government relations for Arizona School Boards Association.

“The Council is hearing testimony from members of the public about whether or not they agree with whether those analyses are fair or not, because by law they have to be fair and impartial,” Kotterman said.

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Opinion: Simple facts about public school funding, not rhetoric or fake news. See related news here

| June 27, 2018
Opinion: Simple facts about public school funding, not rhetoric or fake news. See related news here

Recently, the state has made respectable strides in moving education funding toward more effective levels. The future is optimistic if one disregards the recent rash of editorial assaults in the media by people trying to halt that momentum.

We all look forward to the next auditor general’s report on school spending to see some progress. 

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Board of Education delays discipline discussion for striking teachers. See related news here

| June 27, 2018
Board of Education delays discipline discussion for striking teachers. See related news here

he state Board of Education won’t be weighing whether to discipline tens of thousands of teachers who walked out during the #RedForEd strike — at least not yet.

Board President Lucas Narducci on (June 22) yanked the subject of the board’s authority to sanction educators from the agenda for Monday’s meeting, calling any discussion of the issue “premature at this time.”

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Public schools to get 280 new buses from lawsuit settlement

| June 13, 2018
Public schools to get 280 new buses from lawsuit settlement

More than 280 aging – and presumably high-polluting – school buses are going to be replaced, at no cost to Arizona taxpayers.

Gov. Doug Ducey announced (on June 8) he intends to use more than half of the $59 million the state is getting as its share of a nationwide settlement with Volkswagen to replace buses that are at least 15 years old and have more than 100,000 miles on them.

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Agreement on school funding ends at whether more is needed. See related education funding news here

| May 30, 2018
Agreement on school funding ends at whether more is needed. See related education funding news here

Arizona’s public education system could use more money– a point few argue against. The disagreement comes when elected officials and education advocates start talking about how to get there.

Arizona School Boards Association lobbyist Chris Kotterman made that observation as he reflected on a proposal to increase personal income taxes for the wealthiest Arizonans.

He recalled a roomful of the education community’s representatives discussing the idea and his own trepidation about it..

An income tax hike would draw too much well-funded opposition to be successful, he said, but don’t expect ASBA to lobby against the proposal.

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From skeptic to champion? Gov. Doug Ducey’s evolving views on education funding. See other state education news here

| May 22, 2018
From skeptic to champion? Gov. Doug Ducey’s evolving views on education funding. See other state education news here

In commercials and interviews over the past month, Gov. Doug Ducey has touted the education funding package he was able to push through the Legislature, burnishing his image as an education-minded governor committed to investing dollars in schools.

Those words stand in stark contrast to how Ducey has spoken about public schools and teachers before this year, when a massive teacher movement made itself known at schools statewide and at the Capitol. 

… But the Ducey of previous times did not face what the governor faced beginning in March. An army of teachers clad in red T-shirts threatened, and then did, walk off the job, affecting more than 800,000 students statewide.

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Arizona’s economic growth hinges on success of Latino students. See related stories here

| May 22, 2018
Arizona’s economic growth hinges on success of Latino students. See related stories here

Arizona must prioritize the educational success and increase the degree attainment of our students in order to secure the future economic viability of our state. Not only should it be a priority, I would argue that it is an economic imperative for our state.

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Statewide news: Ducey signs education budget bill on day six of teacher walkout. See related stories here

| May 3, 2018
Statewide news: Ducey signs education budget bill on day six of teacher walkout. See related stories here

On day six of the teacher walkout, the Arizona House of Representatives and Senate both passed an education budget bill which includes Gov. Doug Ducey’s plan of 20 percent teacher pay raises by 2020.

The bill then went to Gov. Doug Ducey who signed it almost immediately.

“Signed,” Ducey tweeted. “Teacher raises are on the way.”

But teachers at the Capitol Thursday morning are not happy, saying it’s not enough. They’re already preparing for November.

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Senate approves watered down gun bill. See related story here

| May 2, 2018
Senate approves watered down gun bill. See related story here

State senators voted Tuesday for what was crafted as a comprehensive school and public safety plan — but not before Republicans removed a key provision designed to take guns away from dangerous people.

SB 1519, approved on a 17-13 party line vote, still al lows police to ask a judge to have someone brought in for mental evaluation. And judges remain able to order temporary removal of weapons if there is “clear and convincing evidence” the person is a danger to self or others.

But Sen. Steve Smith, R-Maricopa, took out language which also would have allowed family members, school administrators, probation officers, behavioral health professionals, roommates and “significant others” to go to court to seek what are known as Severe Threat Orders of Protection.

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