State Capitol News
3:15 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Governor Brewer Proposes Nearly $9 Billion Budget

As expected the governor wants money for Child Protective Service workers and school resource officers. There also are funds for the state's three universities, though some is conditional on meeting certain goals.

 And Brewer wants cash help public schools train teachers and get the necessary computers to comply with the common core standards. But the biggest change is tying some state aid to public schools to performance. Some will automatically go to the schools graded A, B or C under existing standards. But John Arnold, the governor's budget director, said a fair amount of money will be available even for poor-performing schools if they show they are making progress.

"We want to really reward our low performers for any improvement they make," Arnold said.

But there's a potential catch. The governor's budget does not include the $82 million the Court of Appeals earlier this week said the state has to provide schools in inflation adjustments. And Arnold said if that decision stands, the money would have to come from somewhere.

"Dollars are scarce. And we certainly can't fund everything," Arnold added. "If ultimately we are required to put new dollars into the system that are just inflation dollars, that would be disruptive to the rest of the budget proposal."

Republican legislative leaders promised to work with the governor on her proposal but made no promises.