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On Education, Governor Ducey’s State of the State Gets an F

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Even After Staffer Pay Scandal, Ducey is Still All-Talk, No-Action on School Funding 

Today, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey delivered another State of the State full of hollow rhetoric and empty promises for Arizona teachers and students.

Just last year, Ducey made similar grand pledges to prioritize education funding:

“I want the teachers of our state to know: You make the difference. …. I value your work, and It’s time we return the favor.”

But as It turned out, Ducey was far more concerned with taking care of his own staff. The governor was caught in a huge scandal when he gave his own staff massive pay raises, while stiffing the state’s teachers. His staff received an average raise of 11 percent since 2015.

As a result, here’s what Arizona schools actually got:

  • Teacher shortages: A report in December showed Arizona still has 1,968 teaching vacancies this year. Additionally, 627 teachers resigned from their positions in the first four months of the school year. Another 83 never showed up and 156 abandoned their classrooms altogether.
  • Unqualified teachers: 3,403 teaching roles are held by people who were not trained as teachers. 
  • Low spending on students: Arizona still lies in the bottom ten percent nationally on per-pupil spending.
  • Miniscule pay-raises for teachers: After promising a meaningful bump in teacher pay last year, Ducey only offered them less than once percent.

“By now, Arizona voters should know better than to trust anything Doug Ducey says,” said DGA Communications Director Jared Leopold. “Ducey’s tenure has been defined by failures and empty promises to fix Arizona’s lagging education system. This year’s State of the State is just more of the same, and there’s no reason to believe things will get any better.”