State of the State: Ducey falls short on discussing education system
Jan. 8, 2018
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey took on the opioid crisis and prison recidivism in his State of the State address Monday, but the governer’s limited dialogue regarding the state’s struggling education system received a mixed reception from education advocates.
Of the 17-page address, only two were dedicated toward education, compared to the previous year’s speech, in which the governor spent almost half his time on the state’s school system. Stan Barnes, president of Copper State Consulting Group, says that while he was expecting more discussion on education from Ducey, the governor “wisely pointed out there are a lot of good things going on with Arizona public schools.”
According to Barnes, one positive about Arizona’s school system is the “accelerated investments” in public education mentioned by the governor during his address. Chris Herstam of Lewis, Roca, Rothgerber and Christie, however, says the positive statistics on public education only referred to charter schools and schools in wealthy neighborhoods, which are not representative of the state’s education system as a whole. Herstam says the entire address was “a speech of supreme negligence toward our public education system.”
Ducey didn’t touch on the topic of extending the tax that will soon expire, and by doing so showed a reluctance toward the issue, says Barnes. Herstam says at some point taxes will need to be raised in order to fund for K-12 education despite Ducey’s promise to not introduce any increases.
Sexual harassment, the opioid crisis, focus on child-welfare and cracking down on impaired drivers were some of the other major topics discussed in the rest of the 15 pages of the address.