Tag: Arizona Capitol Times

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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#RedForEd organizers: Arizona teachers will vote on walkout. See related stories here

| April 18, 2018
#RedForEd organizers: Arizona teachers will vote on walkout. See related stories here

Teachers across the state will vote this week on whether to walk out for more education funding, according to Arizona Educators United, the grassroots group coordinating the #RedForEd movement.

Organizers late Sunday said educators would vote in person Tuesday through Thursday to determine whether they would follow the lead of teachers in West Virginia, Oklahoma and Kentucky.

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House leaders offer teacher pay raise plan. See related stories here

| April 18, 2018
House leaders offer teacher pay raise plan. See related stories here

Republican House leadership is backing a plan to give teachers a 6-percent pay bump next year at the expense of Gov. Doug Ducey’s proposal to restore cuts to K-12 school capital funding.

Buffeted by protesting teachers, who have threatened to strike if the Legislature doesn’t provide a sizable increase in funding for Arizona public schools to bankroll salary hikes, Republican lawmakers see the proposal as a means of changing the narrative that state legislators have failed to provide teachers a decent wage.

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Allhands: Forced recess in Arizona? Now, this is a mandate I can get behind. See other state education news here

| April 11, 2018
Allhands: Forced recess in Arizona? Now, this is a mandate I can get behind. See other state education news here

If you care about your kid’s grades, you’ll applaud the new mandate for two school recess periods each day.

Gov. Doug Ducey signed Senate Bill 1083 last week. The bill applies to both district and charter schools in kindergarten through third grade initially and kindergarten through fifth grade after August 2019.

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Arizona Teachers Willing to Set Walkout Date: ‘We Must Do Whatever We Can.’ See related stories here

| April 4, 2018
Arizona Teachers Willing to Set Walkout Date: ‘We Must Do Whatever We Can.’ See related stories here

The Arizona teachers in the grassroots #RedForEd movement are moving closer to a statewide school walkout. Leaders have said that they’re willing to set a walkout date, and they’re framing a school “walk-in” protest next week as a dry run for a walkout.

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