State Capitol News
8:25 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Gov. Brewer Proposes Education Funding Restructure in State of State Address

Gov. Jan Brewer asked lawmakers Monday to somewhat revamp how state aid to schools is computed. Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer reports.

Gov. Jan Brewer delivers the State of the State address Monday.
Credit AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

Right now every school in Arizona gets the same basic amount of cash for each student, about $4,100 a year. This plan unveiled during Brewer’s State of the State address involves using the annual standardized tests and then providing extra money to schools for each student whose annual achievement levels have improved beyond what’s expected. That could be as much as $300 per student, but more likely in the $10 to $60 range. Brewer said there should be a link between student performance and state aid.

“That means we stop funding the status quo and instead reward innovation and measured outcomes, and fund the results we want,” she said.

Brewer also called on the Board of Regents to adopt a policy that guarantees stable tuition at the state universities for the four years it normally takes to get an undergraduate degree.

“Arizona families working hard to save enough for their kids to seek a university degree are flat-out tired of unpredictable tuition hikes,” she said.

Regents President Eileen Klein said that’s a worthwhile goal — but one that likely can be achieved only if the governor and lawmakers first provide a steady and stable source of state funds for the university system.