May 12, 2017

Episode 315: Are Changes to Education Funding Enough?

The Legislature has wrapped up its 2017 session and the budget is in place.

Arizona lawmakers ended the 2017 legislative session with a $9.8 billion plan for next year, and education remains at the center of the conversation about state spending.

The budget features additional pay for teachers and classrooms, but more than a dozen education advocacy groups say lawmakers fell short of addressing the needs of teachers and the more than 1 million children in Arizona schools.

The state continues to rank among the lowest in the country for school funding.

Measures signed during the session included one loosening to certification requirements for teachers, which was billed as a way to address a critical teacher shortage in the state. School districts, not the State Board of Education, should decide who’s qualified to teacher, Gov. Doug Ducey said.

Do get a more detailed picture of the state of education in Arizona, we hear from Jen Darland of Arizona Schools Now, Pima County Deputy School Superintendent Ricky Hernandez and teacher and admissions counselor David Oboyski. Arizona Public Media’s Christopher Conover also sat down with Gov. Ducey.

The firing by President Donald Trump of FBI Director James Comey came as a surprise to many, including U.S. Congressman Raúl Grijalva, who’s in Arizona this week meeting with constituents.

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