education funding

The board overseeing Arizona's early childhood development program is opposing a plan from Republican legislative leaders to take some of its funding to support K-12 education.

The First Things First board announced its formal opposition to Senate President Andy Biggs and House Speaker David Gowan's plan on Wednesday.

Biggs and Gowan want voters to approve taking $200 million the program has in the bank next year and $75 million each year going forward to fund schools.

Arizona Republic

Arizona's top school official is set to roll out a plan to fix the state's struggling K-12 school system.

Superintendent of Instruction Diane Douglas will announce the group of policy initiatives at a news conference Thursday afternoon.

Douglas called for an additional $400 million in school funding as an initial part of that policy on Sept. 11. She plans to provide details of the remainder of her "comprehensive" plan to overhaul the state's public school system at Thursday's event.

Democrats in the Arizona Legislature are set to roll out a school funding plan to compete with proposals from Republicans in the Legislature and Gov. Doug Ducey.

Tuesday morning's planned announcement from the minority party comes as GOP leaders in the Legislature work on proposals that could be taken up in a possible special legislative session in October.


Republican members of the Arizona House are being summoned to briefings by their leaders on ongoing discussions to boost funding for K-12 schools.

The meetings set for Monday through Wednesday come as Republican Gov. Doug Ducey presses his plan to tap the state's permanent land trust fund to add more than $320 million a year to school funding. Republicans who control the Legislature have a competing plan.

The Arizona Board of Regents will decide if Arizona State University President Michael Crow and University of Arizona President Ann Weaver Hart get six-figure merit bonuses.

Board members are scheduled to vote Friday on whether Crow gets up to $150,000 in performance incentives. That would bring his total compensation and benefits to about $1 million for fiscal 2015.

Hart could get a $115,000 incentive for total compensation of nearly $754,000.


The president of Northern Arizona University will address the Arizona Board of Regents at its meeting in Flagstaff Thursday. Rita Cheng will update the board on how NAU is faring after state funding to higher education was slashed by nearly $100 million. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.


Arizona unexpectedly ended the 2015 fiscal year $325 million in the black. As a result, some lawmakers are discussing restoring the funds cut from the state’s three public universities in the current budget. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

The most recent report from the U.S. Census Bureau puts Arizona near the bottom of the list for K-through-12 public-education spending. That comes as most states are increasing the amount dedicated to schools. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

The Arizona Board of Regents has approved budget plans for the upcoming fiscal year for Arizona State University, the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University.

The three universities were cut approximately $100 million in the fiscal year 2016 state budget and funding will be reduced another $6.1 million for health insurance costs.

Previously approved tuition plans for the fiscal year beginning July 1 and student enrollment growth won't offset state funding cuts.

David KadlubowskI/The Arizona Republic

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey plans to roll out a new proposal to boost funding for the state's K-12 school system by using cash from the state's land trust.

Ducey spokesman Daniel Scarpinato said the governor will reveal details of his plan at a news conference at a Phoenix high school Thursday. It will involve a "substantial" amount of new funding.

Ducey met with schools chief Diane Douglas and key school superintendents Wednesday, and his staff met with other education leaders.

Scarpinato declined to provide additional details in advance of the governor's announcement.