Doug Ducey on Education



Parents have new options, we should empower them

Children still need to learn, even in a pandemic. By necessity during this emergency, many parents have been more engaged than ever in the daily education of their children. Quite a few have found temporary educational options they want to make permanent. It's their right. Public policy should keep pace and empower them to make that choice.
Source: 2021 State of the State Address to the Arizona legislature , Jan 11, 2021

Invest in teachers, students and K-12 public schools

We've pumped $4.5 billion in new investments into Arizona schools. With our latest budget, that figure will rise to $6.6 billion. In addition, an even larger investment in school counselors, cops on campus, and school safety. A stronger focus on CTE and the trades. More money for the Arizona Teachers Academy, and Teach for America. And by the start of the new school year, teacher pay will be up 20 percent.

Through the Arizona Teachers Academy we made a commitment to our aspiring teachers--you stay and teach in Arizona, and we'll cover your college tuition. The effort is paying off. Enrollment in the Teachers Academy has skyrocketed, with 2,170 students now participating.

Arizona's future depends on these educators. Let's provide them with access so they can get to the front of the classroom--debt free.

Source: 2020 Arizona State of the State address , Jan 13, 2020

Have a school day devoted to instruction on civics

We are blessed to have one Arizonan who's the ideal of this aspirational creed. Her life is a living civics lesson-- and Arizona is fortunate to be home to the Institute that bears her name. I'm talking about Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Who better to hold as a model for the next generation? That's why I'm calling for a day when classroom instruction can be dedicated entirely to civics: Sandra Day O'Connor Civics Celebration Day.
Source: 2020 Arizona State of the State address , Jan 13, 2020

Choice and competition brings about innovation

Arizona has been the leader in school choice. It's good for parents, and most of all, it's good for kids. Healthy choice and competition brings about innovation, and that's been the case in Arizona public education. But we also know improvements can be made. More transparency, more accountability, and granting more financial review and oversight over taxpayer dollars--all with the purpose of making sure every public school is improving and providing Arizona kids with the best-possible education.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to the Arizona legislature , Jan 14, 2019

Supported Prop 123: increase K-12 funding

Q: Increase funding for K-12 education?

Doug Ducey (R): Mixed. Increased funding distributions from state land trust through Prop 123, though this erodes long-term reserves. Opposed initiative funding education by taxing individuals earning over $250,000 a year.

David Garcia (D): Yes. Would support extra funding by expanding Proposition 301 sales tax initiative, which now provides $500 million a year to K-12. Also close corporate tax loopholes & raise taxes on top 1%.

Source: CampusElect 2018: Arizona legislative voting records , Oct 9, 2018

Cut college funding by $99 million in 2015

Q: Increase state funding for higher education?

Doug Ducey (R): Mixed. Cut college funding by $99 million in 2015. Increased by $32 million in 2016-2017, including $5 million for Koch Brothers-founded "economic freedom schools." Ended all state aid to Maricopa & Pima County community college systems.

David Garcia (D): Yes. Make college tuition-free for in-state students who attend local community colleges or trade schools. Then develop a plan to make 4-year schools free.

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Arizona Governor race , Oct 9, 2018

Push for education savings accounts on November ballot

A major focus for the Koch network--known formally as the Seminar Network--is state legislation, with an aim to remake the nation's education system via referendums and new state laws. The Koch brothers s are particularly enthusiastic about education savings accounts: a mechanism that upends traditional K-12 education by, in some cases, giving parents lump sums they can use to pay private schools or even online institutions to educate their children.

A top priority for 2018 is in Arizona, where a measure allowing education savings accounts for all students goes on the ballot in November. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey pushed the idea and attended the Koch network's weekend seminar to chat with donors about it. A similar bill is moving through the New Hampshire Legislature and is supported by Americans for Prosperity [another Koch-funded organization].

Source: Boston Globe on 2018 Arizona governor race, "Koch Rally" , Jan 29, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Option to get kids out of failing schools

Parents need to make the choices that are best for their children, and should have the option to get their kids out of failing schools with consistently-poor track records. Arizona leads the nation in charter school excellence and they can be a great alternative. Unfortunately, many of them also have daunting waiting lists. As governor, I will submit legislation to eliminate waiting lists for excelling schools, while advancing broad and bipartisan reforms to apply the best practices of high- performing charter and district schools.

Principals need to be allowed to run their schools, and teachers need to be able to control their classrooms. And if they don't measure up, then someone else should take their place. Schools should be graded and parents should be informed about the quality of the schools.

I will resist over-reach from the federal government, including Common Core, and protect our schools from federal intrusion into the state and local responsibility of public education.

Source: 2014 Gubernatorial campaign website, DougDucey.com, "Issues" , Aug 15, 2014

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AZ Senatorial:
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Joe Arpaio
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NJ: Incumbent Phil Murphy(D)
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VA: Incumbent Ralph Northam(D,term-limited)
CEO Glenn Youngkin(R)
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vs.State Rep. Jennifer Carroll Foy(D)
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AL: Incumbent Kay Ivey(R)
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AR: Incumbent Asa Hutchinson(R,term-limited)
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CO: Incumbent Jared Polis(D)
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CT: Incumbent Ned Lamont(D)
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FL: Incumbent Ron DeSantis(R)
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GA: Incumbent Brian Kemp(R)
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vs.State Rep.Vernon Jones(R)
HI: Incumbent David Ige(D,term-limited)
vs.Rep. Tulsi Gabbard(? D)
vs.Marissa Kerns(R)
IA: Incumbent Kim Reynolds(R)
vs.U.S.Rep. Cindy Axne(? R)
ID: Incumbent Brad Little(R)
vs.Raul Labrador(R)
IL: Incumbent J.B. Pritzker(D)
vs.State Sen.Darren Bailey(R)
KS: Incumbent Laura Kelly(D)
vs.Jeff Colyer(R)
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MA: Incumbent Charlie Baker(R)
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MD: Incumbent Larry Hogan(R,term-limited)
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MI: Incumbent Gretchen Whitmer(D)
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MN: Incumbent Tim Walz(DFL)
vs.Mayor Mike Murphy(R)
vs.State Sen.Scott Jensen(R)
NE: Incumbent Pete Ricketts(R,term-limited)
vs.U.S.Senator Bob Krist(R)
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NH: Incumbent Chris Sununu(R)
vs.Dan Feltes(D)
vs.Kelly Ayotte(? R)
NM: Incumbent Michelle Lujan Grisham(D)
vs.Commissioner Jay Block(R)
NV: Incumbent Steve Sisolak(D)
vs.A.G.Adam Laxalt(R)
vs.U.S.Rep. Mark Amodei(? R)
NY: Incumbent Andrew Cuomo(D)
vs.Lt.Gov.Kathy Hochul(D)
vs.Rob Astorino(R)
vs.Andrew Giuliani(R)
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OH: Incumbent Mike DeWine(R)
vs.Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley(D)
vs.Mayor John Cranley(D)
OK: Incumbent Kevin Stitt(R)
vs.State Sen. Ervin Yen(R)
OR: Incumbent Kate Brown(D,term-limited)
vs.Gov. nominee Bud Pierce(R)
vs.Paul Romero(R)
PA: Incumbent Tom Wolf(D,term-limited)
vs.U.S.Rep. Lou Barletta(R)
vs.Commissioner Joe Gale(R)
vs.A.G.Josh Shapiro(D)
RI: Incumbent Gina Raimondo(D,to Cabinet)
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vs.Mayor Allan Fung(R)
vs.Luis-Daniel Munoz(D)
SC: Incumbent Henry McMaster(R)
vs.State Rep. James Emerson Smith(? D)
vs.US.Rep.Joe Cunningham(D)
SD: Incumbent Kristi Noem(R)
vs.State Rep. Billie Sutton(? D)
TN: Incumbent Bill Lee(R)
vs.Senate nominee Marquita Bradshaw(? D)
TX: Incumbent Greg Abbott(R)
vs.Chad Prather(R)
vs.State Sen.Don Huffines(R)
vs.U.S.Rep. Allen West(? R)
VT: Incumbent Phil Scott(R)
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WI: Incumbent Tony Evers(D)
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WY: Incumbent Mark Gordon(R)
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Gubernatorial Debates 2023:
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Senator Rand Paul(? R)
LA: Incumbent John Bel Edwards(D,term-limited)
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MS: Incumbent Tate Reeves(R)
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Page last updated: May 29, 2021