PHOENIX — Arizona’s top education official says sustainable, long-term funding is critical for public schools to make sure students thrive during and after the coronavirus pandemic.
Democratic Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman praised some of Republican Gov. Doug Ducey’s budget proposals in her annual State of Education speech Tuesday.
But Hoffman slammed the governor's plan to enact tax cuts instead of fully funding schools and safety net programs.
She said the state has over $1 billion in its rainy day fund and a projected $2 billion surplus that can easily be tapped to help schools and families that are struggling.
During an interview with ABC15's Danielle Lerner in January, Hoffman said districts, "have had to purchase new technology, the laptops, the hot spots, the curriculum, the online curriculum, the training behind that to train the teachers, the students and families."
Hoffman also touched on current bills and policies the AZ Department of Education will be supporting this session, along with the need for flexibility surrounding state testing assessments as we head into the spring.
These issues are all in addition to ongoing concerns surrounding Arizona's teacher shortage.
Hoffman previously told ABC15 she hoped to meet with Governor Ducey ahead of the legislative session to go over these, and other priorities. ABC15 has learned that the meeting has not happened, but a spokesman for the superintendent says their offices are communicating regularly.