State of Arizona Archives: on Education


Doug Ducey: Lead the nation on school choice and charters

We've been a leader on school choice, and we will continue to be a leader. Our public charters are leading the nation and the world in outcomes for our students.

And the robotics class at Carl Hayden High School is so renowned, Hollywood didn't just make one movie about it--they made two. It needs to be said. We can advocate for more resources, and also admit we have so many great schools, and great teachers.

But too many people have fallen into the trap set by the pundits, dumping on Arizona schools. I'll admit: There was a time I didn't know the full picture. But after spending the last three years inside dozens of classrooms I have a new appreciation for the excellence occurring in our school system. And what has been most striking are the teachers. They've shared with me--It's more than a job. It's a calling. Especially in our low-income communities, they've told me: "I'm not here because I have to be. I'm here because I want to be."

Source: 2017 State of the State address to Arizona Legislature Jan 9, 2017

Doug Ducey: Invest in public school teachers with tuition & bonuses

After Prop 123--where are steps 4, 5, and 6? Well, here we go.
Source: 2017 State of the State address to Arizona Legislature Jan 9, 2017

Andy Biggs: Free our local schools from one-size-fits-all policies

ul>Repeal Common Core and return all control of our education policies to the states and locals.
  • I believe the education of our children is best handled by our local communities, not career bureaucrats.
  • I will work to free our local school districts from federal mandates and one-size-fits-all policies, like Common Core, and get back to local control of our education system. Our children's education is simply too important to be left to failed federal policies.
    Source: 2016 Arizona House campaign website BiggsForCongress.com Nov 8, 2016

    Tom O`Halleran: We're falling behind others; make education a priority

    Investing in our children's education not only benefits the individual child and families, but also is an investment in our state and country's economic future. After decades of schools falling farther behind other countries, it is time to make education a priority again for our children in America and Arizona.

    While in the legislature, Tom led a bipartisan group that passed all-day kindergarten and made substantial investments in all levels of our schools, including research facilities at our three state universities that have been an economic driver and created good-paying jobs.

    Among other education initiatives, Tom fought for funding teacher salaries and to retain soft capital (money that goes toward books and computers). He worked to maintain funding for new schools and school maintenance, which helped local property tax payers not pay as high a rate as they otherwise would to maintain their schools.

    Source: 2016 Arizona House campaign website TomOHalleran.com Nov 8, 2016

    Tom O`Halleran: Improving public education should always be a top priority

    Improving public education should always be a top priority. It was for me when I was an Arizona legislator. It's why I led a bipartisan coalition that fought for all day kindergarten. Investing in education has a profound positive impact on our children's and country's future. A better education system provides for a stronger economy, which improves revenues and eases pressure on taxes.

    We need to make sure school funding for rural and tribal schools takes into account the differences those schools face (e.g., greater distance to school) and provides educational opportunities that help our students excel. Our children need to be able to compete in the job market well beyond their home town. Our rural and tribal communities also need to have schools that will attract and retain parents and companies for economic development. We need to do more to ensure that all children have access to a quality, competitive school regardless of their zip code.

    Source: 2016 Arizona House campaign website TomOHalleran.com Nov 8, 2016

    Tom O`Halleran: Invest in our community colleges, including job training

    Community colleges are a ladder to a four-year institution and an important asset for job training. As a country, we need to invest in our community colleges just as we do universities. For rural economies to succeed, we need affordable community colleges.

    Arizona currently has a program for transferring credits from community colleges to our state universities. We should make this a nationwide program so students from all states can move or select colleges and universities outside their state and continue their education.

    We should also be providing expanded job training for current workers so they can take advantage of the increasing number of opportunities in this field. This type of work especially lends itself to being able to work from anywhere, which can stabilize and improve our rural economy in Congressional District 1.

    Source: 2016 Arizona House campaign website TomOHalleran.com Nov 8, 2016

    Doug Ducey: Coordinate with banks to finance school expansion

    In the years ahead, Arizona will be among the states investing the most new dollars in public education--without raising taxes. We are going to make it easier and more affordable for our best public schools to expand. My office has worked with the top credit rating agencies in the country to develop a structure that lets our public schools finance their expansion at lower cost. We also need to provide resources for aging schools to repair and rebuild their facilities for future students.
    Source: 2016 State of the State speech to Arizona legislature Jan 11, 2016

    Doug Ducey: Reward high achievement and low income schools

    Next, we need to reward schools that are helping kids reach their full potential. All of us should be alarmed to hear that more than half of our high school graduates can't get into our own state universities. So--under our plan, schools that produce students who successfully complete AP-level, college-prep courses will be rewarded with more dollars. Schools in low-income areas--where educators and students face added challenges--will receive an even greater boost for helping kids beat the odds.
    Source: 2016 State of the State speech to Arizona legislature Jan 11, 2016

    Doug Ducey: Partner with third sector in education

    The state isn't the only player in public education. Every day, philanthropic foundations in Arizona are investing in our schools. They are developing new school leaders, expanding educational opportunities for low-income children and funding the arts and sciences. I intend to partner with the heads of these foundations to provide an even greater opportunity and impact in our schools.
    Source: 2016 State of the State speech to Arizona legislature Jan 11, 2016

    Doug Ducey: Give foster kids a `fast pass' to best schools

    As we continue to ease the burden, the fact remains: we ask a lot of foster parents--and we know there are thousands of families currently trying to get into our best public schools, where the lines are long. If we want to see more foster and adoptive families, let's give them an incentive--a "fast pass" to the front of the line of our best public schools. This will ensure vulnerable children an opportunity at a great education & bring more good people to take on the noble cause of fostering a child.
    Source: 2016 State of the State speech to Arizona legislature Jan 11, 2016

    Doug Ducey: American Civics Bill: pass civics test like new citizens

    In Arizona public schools, we can do better. A snapshot of Arizona public education came in a survey a few years ago. It measured some basic knowledge among students, on matters where knowledge should be assumed. It was an elementary civics test, along the lines of the test required of every new citizen. And when 96 percent of our kids could not pass, you know something is missing.

    This is an issue that can and should unite us. These are our children. How can we expect them to protect the principles on which this country was founded, if we are not preparing them for that task right now? It's time to make this right and there's a bipartisan bill--the American Civics Bill. Send it to my desk, and I'll sign it immediately.

    Source: State of the State address to 2015 Arizona Legislature Jan 12, 2015

    Doug Ducey: Classrooms First Initiative: end one-size-fits-all model

    It's time to take charge of our public schools and take responsibility for their results. For too long, the federal government has forced a one-size-fits-all model on our education system. Politicians and bureaucrats on the other side of the country, with no understanding of our state or the needs of our teachers and students, have sought to impose their standards and their will on our youth.

    In Arizona, educational excellence is a priority. For the next four years, I intend to lead under a "Classrooms First Initiative." Our goal is simple: To improve outcomes in the classroom for all our children. That's why I propose to spend not less in the classroom than last year, but more.

    Right now we spend far too much on administrative costs--on overhead--and that's got to change. We know where education happens, between a teacher and a student. In my administration, we will honor teachers and the good work they do.

    Source: State of the State address to 2015 Arizona Legislature Jan 12, 2015

    Martha McSally: Gives other options to kids in failing schools

    We must ensure we have a strong K-12 education system to prepare our children to enter the workforce, grow our economy, and keep America strong. Right now, our system is failing us. America's 15-year-olds rank only 23rd in science, 30th in math, and 20th in English compared to other countries and the trend is going in the wrong direction. It is not right to deny children stuck in failing schools the option for a better education that focuses on local control, parent involvement, choice, and competition. Taxpayer dollars should be going to improving education, not paying for federal bureaucrats to dictate mandates and standards from D.C.

    I am willing to consider thoughtful solutions to meet these goals to grow our economy, increase our global competitiveness, and provide more opportunities for the next generations.

    Source: 2014 Arizona House campaign website, McSallyForCongress.com Nov 4, 2014

    Fred DuVal: Stop the cuts to our children's schools: and stop vouchers

    Q: What is the single biggest under-funded item in the Arizona state budget?

    A: Without a doubt--education. For years we've made it known: loud and clear: that education is not our top priority. As governor, I'll stop the cuts to our children's schools: not another dollar, not another dime, not another penny. We have to reinvest in our kids' schools to give them the skills they need to succeed and get the jobs of the future. Q: What is the single Arizona state budgeted program that should be cut or eliminated?

    A: The expansion of private school vouchers has diverted money from our children's schools and hurt the quality of their education. As governor, I would roll back the expansion of private school vouchers to reinvest in our public and charter schools.

    Source: KSAZ Fox 10 Phoenix on 2014 Arizona governor race Jul 28, 2014

    Fred DuVal: Invest early in education; start with all-day kindergarten

    Today, whether your child or grandchild has free access to all-day kindergarten depends on a zip code. That's not right. If Arizona's children are going to be competitive in the 21 st century economy, we need to recognize the importance of investing early in their education, starting with all-day kindergarten as a basic foundation
    Source: 2014 Arizona gubernatorial campaign website, Fred2014.com Jul 2, 2014

    Jan Brewer: Performance-based funding plan, instead of attendance-based

    I'm so proud the Arizona Legislature joined me last year in funding the Move on When Reading program. Beginning now, schools across Arizona must develop comprehensive reading assessments to identify students falling behind. With the help of the State, local schools will connect students with reading experts.

    And that brings us to school funding. Whatever your point of view, we should all agree that it's time we start funding the academic results we want to see. What I am proposing is the nation's first comprehensive performance funding plan for our districts and charter schools. This plan will reward schools that earn high marks or see real improvement in performance. I'm not talking about scrapping attendance-based funding formulas. Rather, this will augment that system with an innovative approach to promoting school performance, while maintaining local control. Together, let's stop simply funding the system we have and start funding the student achievement we want.

    Source: 2013 State of the State Address to Arizona Legislature Jan 14, 2013

    Richard Carmona: Reinvest $1 billion cut from our schools

    Having a skilled and educated workforce is key to building a strong and sustainable economy. With our world-class university system, Arizona is well positioned to compete globally but we have a long way to go before Arizona's high schools are producing enough graduates to have the kind of 21st century workforce we need.

    Arizona's education system routinely ranks near the bottom of the nation. That's unforgivable, and we need to fix it. In recent years, the political extremists who control Arizona's legislature have cut more than $1 billion from our schools and they fail to see that their actions will have crippling economic consequences for our future. We need to ensure that our students are prepared to lead the world in innovation, research, and technology. It's time we reset our priorities and ensure that education remains at the top. That starts with protecting and reinvesting in our public schools.

    Source: 2012 Senate campaign website, carmonaforarizona.com Mar 15, 2012

    Jan Brewer: We lead in school choice: district, private, or charter

    Isn't it astonishing that in Arizona today, Bill Gates would not be considered qualified to teach students about computer science? We must stop our gate keeping and open the doors to all qualified and skilled citizens who want to teach our children.

    That said--teachers are only one part of the education equation. Engaged parents must balance educators' contributions and play an active role in their children's learning. No teacher can ever substitute for an involved parent. But we must give parents the ability to make the best choices for their children.

    Starting with where they go to school. We lead the nation in school choice. In Arizona --a parent's right to choose the best school must endure--whether that's a district, private, charter or home school. We must also arm parents with the information they need to help monitor their children's academic progress. We will make sure they have up-to-date data that is available on-line --at any time.

    Source: Arizona 2010 State of the State Address Jan 11, 2010

    Janet Napolitano: Added voluntary full-day kindergarten as a new grade level

    We have added--and protected--a new grade level, voluntary full-day kindergarten, that gives thousands of Arizona students a head start in education that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. By vote of the people, we have set aside critical funding for early childhood education. We have enacted historic teacher pay raises and started a new center to train teachers in the critical fields of science, technology, engineering and math. We've quadrupled the funds going to our schools from our state trust lands. We've increased standards in high school for math and science, and we have cut the high school dropout rate nearly in half.

    Yet, as always, there is more to do. We must build on what we have begun. Expanded resources must translate into ever-increasing levels of student achievement. The proportion of our education funds spent in the classroom must increase. The professional status--and the pay--of our classroom teachers must continue to improve.

    Source: Arizona 2009 State of the State Address Jan 12, 2009

    Janet Napolitano: Implement school choice via public charter schools

    Our public school system educates 82% of Arizona's students. Their future has to be Arizona's number-one priority. School choice is important; we can expand and preserve that choice through the growing institution of quality public charter schools.

    Today's short-term budget decisions must not harm the long-term future of Arizona's children. If this Legislature cuts classroom spending, the people of Arizona will recognize such a cut for what it is--not a budget necessity, but a willful and unwise choice.

    We must look at higher education in the same way. In the past six years, we have institutionalized the P-20 model in Arizona, which recognizes the reality that education is not neatly segmented, but is instead a continuum of learning that begins at birth and lasts well into a chosen career path.

    Source: Arizona 2009 State of the State Address Jan 12, 2009

    Janet Napolitano: Recommend funding for voluntary full-day kindergarten

    My budget will recommend first-year funding for voluntary full-day kindergarten to be phased in over the next five years. This phase-in begins where it is needed the most, in schools with at least 90 percent of students who participate in the federal free or reduced-fee lunch program. In years two to five of the phase-in, funding will be distributed to all Arizona school districts.
    Source: 2004 State of the State speech to Arizona Legislature Jan 12, 2004

    Janet Napolitano: Emphasize the importance of reading literacy

    Every parent and teacher should know that so long as I am Governor, every first-grade child in Arizona will receive a book. To ensure that reading literacy is better-emphasized throughout elementary and middle school, I also am calling for improvements in the teacher certification process. We must insist on additional middle school literacy training, to empower teachers to aggressively attack reading deficiencies at every grade level, through the 8th grade.
    Source: 2004 State of the State speech to Arizona Legislature Jan 12, 2004

    Janet Napolitano: Scholarship program for early childhood education teachers

    We must support teachers who provide education to our youngest children by offering scholarships so that they can improve their own education and thereby the education of preschool children. This year we will build on a $1.6-million early childhood educator grant we recently received from the US Department of Education, by implementing a statewide scholarship program for early childhood education teachers.
    Source: 2004 State of the State speech to Arizona Legislature Jan 12, 2004

    Janet Napolitano: Help teachers undergo the necessary training

    Getting master teacher accreditation not only is challenging, it also can be quite expensive for teachers who seek it. I will establish the Arizona Master Teachers program, to secure public and private funding to help teachers undergo the necessary training to receive master teacher status. I challenged every school district in Arizona to convert an additional five percent of district operating budgets to classroom-related spending, and I gave them two years in which to do it.
    Source: 2004 State of the State speech to Arizona Legislature Jan 12, 2004

    Janet Napolitano: No cut in higher education funding

    I am ready to work in partnership with Arizonaís universities and community colleges to enhance access to a higher education, intensify university research efforts, and increase graduation rates. My budget recommendation for this year will continue to invest significantly in Arizonaís universities and community colleges so that they can continue to grow into their new and more vital 21st Century role.
    Source: 2004 State of the State speech to Arizona Legislature Jan 12, 2004

    Jane Dee Hull: Students FIRST: Build more schools; maintain existing ones

    Thanks to Students FIRST, seven new schools are built and filled with students and another 125 new schools have been approved. The rest of our K-12 schools are on the way to having their deficiencies addressed. Now it is up to the school districts to make sure that these facilities are properly maintained. We heard that we should concentrate on the education in the classroom, not the classroom itself. We decided to do both, to provide a quality education in a sound classroom.
    Source: 2001 State of the State address to the Arizona legislature Jan 8, 2001

    Jane Dee Hull: Supports Prop. 301, raising taxes for use in schools

    The political pundits told Superintendent Lisa Keegan and me that Arizonans would never tax themselves, even to improve education. You had the courage to give the people the chance to prove those experts wrong and a majority of Arizona voters had the foresight to approve Proposition 301. Proposition 301 means $459 million will be available for education programs in just the first year. Our schools now have a dedicated revenue stream to improve learning.
    Source: 2001 State of the State address to the Arizona legislature Jan 8, 2001

    Alan Keyes: Use bully pulpit to advocate prayer, not coerce it

    Q: Is there a contradiction in advocating abolishing the department of education, yet using the bully pulpit to push for more prayer in schools?
    A: I donít see the contradiction at all. Using the bully pulpit is not coercion. I would not use federal leverage to force state and local officials to adopt any particular approach to prayer in schools. Since we took prayer out, we seem to have let violence and decline in. And I think we ought to draw those lessons.
    Source: Phoenix Arizona GOP Debate Dec 7, 1999

    Alan Keyes: Money should follow parentsí education choices

    I strongly favor letting the parents take over the education process. With the parents in the lead, we will know that the cooperation between home, school and faith has been restored. The money we spend on education should follow the choice of the parents, not the choice of educrats & politicians. Let parents decide where the per capita spending is going to go. And that way every parent, rich or poor, will be able to make the right decisions for their child.
    Source: Phoenix Arizona GOP Debate Dec 7, 1999

    George W. Bush: If poor kids donít learn, give school funds to parents

    If the federal government spends money, say on the poorest of the poor children, we need to ask a simple question: What are the results? Are the children learning? And if they are, we ought to give bonuses to schools for the poorest of the poor. But if theyíre not, if the poorest of the poor remain in trapped schools, that money that would go to the school should go to the parent so the parent gets to make a different choice.
    Source: Phoenix Arizona GOP Debate Dec 7, 1999

    George W. Bush: Develop tests locally - no national tests

    I donít believe in national testing. I believe that local folks ought to develop their own tests and their own standards because I strongly believe in local control of schools. I also believe in charter schools. I believe in education savings accounts to give parents a $5,000 per year contribution to be able to save for their children. My plan says less power in Washington, not more.
    Source: Phoenix Arizona GOP Debate Dec 7, 1999

    John McCain: Tax breaks for charters - not from public school funds

    I walked into a charter school classroom in Phoenix. On the desk was a childrenís book of virtues. The teacher was teaching the virtue of the month, which happened to be the importance of telling the truth. We need to inject that in all of our charter schools and in schools all over America. I would provide the much needed tax breaks that are necessary to encourage them. I would certainly make them part of any voucher program, a test voucher program which I would not take out of education funds.
    Source: (Cross-ref from Education) Phoenix Arizona GOP Debate Dec 7, 1999

    John McCain: Good teachers & bad senators donít need $140,000 a year

    Q: Youíve said a number of times that no good teacher should be paid less than a bad senator. In January the Senators will be making over $140,000 a year. Who would fund anything even close to that for the good teachers? A: [Teachers] may not need as much money as $140,000 a year. Perhaps Senators donít need as much as $140,000 a year. When we vote ourselves pay raises all the time and the American worker is not making nearly the increases that we are, itís really wrong.
    Source: Phoenix Arizona GOP Debate Dec 7, 1999

    John McCain: Teach virtues in all schools

    I walked into a charter school classroom in Phoenix. On the desk was a childrenís book of virtues. The teacher was teaching the virtue of the month, which happened to be the importance of telling the truth. We need to inject that in all of our charter schools and in schools all over America. I would provide the much needed tax breaks that are necessary to encourage them. I would certainly make them part of any voucher program, a test voucher program which I would not take out of education funds.
    Source: Phoenix Arizona GOP Debate Dec 7, 1999

    Orrin Hatch: Vouchers will cover costs under most circumstances

    Q: Even with vouchers, wonít parents with limited means still be unable to send their children to the best school? A: A lot of these private schools, a lot of these parochial schools, even some of the professional schools, sometimes they can take care of it for what the voucher will be. And many of these parents would pay the extra if they could. Public schools are great, but when theyíre not working those kids ought to have a chance to walk and the voucher system will give them that chance.
    Source: Phoenix Arizona GOP Debate Dec 7, 1999

    Orrin Hatch: Let parents walk away from failing schools

    The federal government spends 7%of the money for education in this country and demands 50% of the paperwork - 49 million men-women hours. The best thing we can do is provide a means where these kids in the inner city that are not getting a good education, their parents know theyíre not getting a good education, to walk. If the monies arenít enough, we should raise them so that they can be enough.
    Source: Phoenix Arizona GOP Debate Dec 7, 1999

    • The above quotations are from State of Arizona Politicians: Archives.
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    2016 Presidential contenders on Education:
      Republicans:
    Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
    Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
    Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
    Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
    Carly Fiorina(CA)
    Gov.Jim Gilmore(VA)
    Sen.Lindsey Graham(SC)
    Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
    Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
    Gov.John Kasich(OH)
    Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
    Gov.George Pataki(NY)
    Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
    Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
    Sen.Rob Portman(OH)
    Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
    Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
    Donald Trump(NY)
    Gov.Scott Walker(WI)
    Democrats:
    Gov.Lincoln Chafee(RI)
    Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
    V.P.Joe Biden(DE)
    Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)
    Sen.Bernie Sanders(VT)
    Sen.Elizabeth Warren(MA)
    Sen.Jim Webb(VA)

    2016 Third Party Candidates:
    Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
    Roseanne Barr(PF-HI)
    Robert Steele(L-NY)
    Dr.Jill Stein(G,MA)
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    Page last updated: Feb 28, 2017