LBN’s Bob Donley reports that Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has come up with an idea that would provide more funding for Arizona’s public schools without raising taxes. Since most politicians seem to be wary of proposing any tax increase to fund public programs, Ducey’s idea will probably attract some interest.
Arizona’s funding level for K-12 education is currently near the bottom of the list nationally, and the governor has been criticized for not spending more money on education. Ducey’s involvement with school funding goes back to 2012, before he was governor. He led the opposition that defeated a proposal to make a one cent increase in the state’s sales tax.
Ducey’s idea is that Arizona should get money from its state land trust fund. The idea is to draw off about ten percent of the funds in the land trust fund over a five-year period. After the initial five-year period, the amount from the fund would be reduced to five percent, ending in 2026. The proposal is supposed to generate about $1.8 billion in what is being characterized as “new money.” The money would help build new classrooms and hire new teachers.
Arizona’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, Diane Douglas, says she has held very constructive conversations with the governor about his proposal. The proposal would go to the voters in the 2016 election.
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