Governor Doug Ducey’s  State of the State speech outlined numerous ways he plans to tackle a one-point-five billion dollar deficit. The Republican’s ideas run the gamut of implementing a hiring freeze, to getting rid of a Washington D.C.. lobbyist, and shifting dollars from vacant schools to more occupied ones, to name a few.

Ducey was unwavering in his call for “fiscal responsibility” while making overtures to low income children, proposing the dollars from vacant schools go into those indigent neighborhoods, he says, to provide equal opportunity for all children by implementing open enrollment and parental school choice. The Governor emphasized, where you live shouldn’t dictate the quality of the school you attend.

As for the court order for Arizona to increase its education funding, Ducey had stern words for both sides. He commanded lawmakers to settle the lawsuit. But he told funding advocates to be, quote “reasonable”, adding,“it’s time to stop paying lawyers and start paying teachers.”

Democrats take heart that the Governor commanded lawmakers to settle the education funding lawsuit, but say they’re hard pressed to figure out how funding it to adequate levels can happen without new revenue. And while they say Ducey rang a positive tone in his remarks, it was short on specifics, saying, “the Devil is in the details.”

–Barbara Villa