Monday January 13, 2020
State of the State
The 2nd Regular Session of the 52nd Arizona Legislature commenced today with the governor’s annual state of the state address, in which he lays out his priorities for the Legislative session and gives us a sneak peek at what’s in store for the executive budget proposal, which will be released on Friday.
Ducey started out by lauding reductions in the size of government under his administration, celebrating what he characterized as strong economic and job growth, before promising “no new taxes; not this session, not next session; not here in this chamber, not at the ballot box, not on my watch.” This presumably leaves little doubt about where he will stand on any potential education ballot initiative (more on that below).
The governor did allude to a couple of funding issues we will be looking for in his budget Friday:
- Accelerating the final District Additional Assistance (DAA) payment into FY2021, meaning DAA would be fully restored.
- Increased funding for CTE programs
- Increased funding for the Arizona Teacher’s Academy
- A program to get additional “tools and resources” into “struggling schools,” which he referred to as “project rocket.”
- Increased investment in rural broadband.
The governor also called for a “Sandra Day O’Connor Civics Celebration Day,” in which he envisions every school in Arizona would spend the day on civics education. No further details were immediately available.
A coalition of education and progressive interest groups, led by the Arizona Education Association and Children’s Action Alliance, held a press conference Monday to announce a new version of the Invest in Ed initiative, which met an untimely end in 2018 when the Arizona Supreme Court struck it from the ballot.
The 2020 version is similar to the 2018 version in that it includes a 3.5% “surcharge” on annual income over $250,000 for single filers, or $500,000 for married filers, and is estimated to generate about $940M annually for K-12 education. ASBA is still evaluating the language and will provide a summary as soon as possible. You can see video of the press conference at AZEdNews.
Sex Education Update
SB1082, which was calendared for the Senate education committee tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon, has been dropped from the agenda. We will keep an eye out in case it reappears.