Doug Ducey on Education



Arizona is the number one school choice state in the nation

We pressed forward: positioning Arizona as the number one school choice state in the nation.When COVID hit, that designation was a lifeline for families. Some school leaders did everything possible to keep kids in the classroom. In the process, more parents got involved. And thank God they did. Some voted with their feet--moving schools or school districts or to totally different learning models--whether that's homeschooling or microschools.

In Arizona schools, we will not divide people by race. Students should be taught to think critically--not taught critical race theory. Let's require all that a child is taught, all curriculum and academic materials be put online and available to search and review by every parent, grandparent and interested citizen.

Source: 2022 State of the State Address to the Arizona legislature , Jan 10, 2022

We waive tuition for veterans; let's do spouses too

We are blessed to be a magnet for America's veterans. Under the G.I. Bill, they get to attend our in-state universities and community colleges free of charge. After all, they've already given so much. But how about their spouses? These dedicated husbands and wives have served and sacrificed as well. So this session, let's launch a program to waive their tuition too.
Source: 2022 State of the State Address to the Arizona legislature , Jan 10, 2022

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

Repealed law banning pro-gay HIV instruction

AZ Mirror summary of SB1396, April 12, 2019: In 1991, Democratic Sen. Karan English sponsored Senate Bill 1396. The original version only allowed for age-appropriate, medically accurate HIV prevention education in K-12 public schools. On the House floor, Republican Rep. Karen Mills introduced an amendment that would come to be known as a "no promo homo" law. The new language prohibited HIV education that "promotes a homosexual lifestyle," "portrays homosexuality as a positive alternative lifestyle" or "suggests that some methods of sex are safe methods of homosexual sex."

TowleRoad LGBTQ news, April 11, 2019: Arizona's Governor Doug Ducey today signed the repeal of a '90s-era law which forbid teachers from "homosexuality as a positive alternative life-style" or even suggest that "some methods of sex are safe methods of homosexual sex" in health classes.

Legislative Summary:Passed Senate 19-11-0 on Jun/20/91.

Source: AZ Mirror on Arizona voting record SB1396 , Apr 11, 2019

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

Other governors on Education: Doug Ducey on other issues:
AZ Gubernatorial:
Aaron Lieberman
David Garcia
Frank Riggs
Fred DuVal
Jan Brewer
JL Mealer
Jorge Rivas
Kari Lake
Karrin Taylor Robson
Katie Hobbs
Kimberly Yee
Marco Lopez
Matt Salmon
Phil Gordon
Steve Farley
Steve Gaynor
AZ Senatorial:
Ann Kirkpatrick
Deedra Abboud
Doug Marks
Jeff Flake
JL Mealer
Joe Arpaio
John McCain
Kyrsten Sinema
Martha McSally
Gubernatorial Debates 2021:
CA Recall:
S.D.Mayor Kevin_Faulconer(R)
vs.Former Gov. nominee John Cox(R)
vs.Former U.S.Rep Doug Ose(R)
vs.Laura Smith(R)
vs.Former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner(R)
vs.Radio Host Larry Elder(R)
vs.Kevin Paffrath(D)
vs.Gavin Newsom(D)
NJ: Incumbent Phil Murphy(D)
vs.State Rep. Jack Ciattarelli(R)
vs.Candidate Hirsh Singh(R)
vs.GOP Chair Doug Steinhardt(R)
VA: Incumbent Ralph Northam(D,term-limited)
vs.Former Governor Terry McAuliffe(D)
vs.CEO Glenn Youngkin(R)
vs.A.G. Mark Herring(D)
vs.State Sen. Amanda Chase(I)
vs.Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax(D)
vs.State Rep. Jennifer Carroll Foy(D)
vs.State Rep. Lee Carter(D)
vs.State Sen. Jennifer McClellan(D)
vs.State Rep. Kirk Cox(R)
vs.CEO Pete Snyder(R)

Gubernatorial Debates 2023:
KY: Incumbent Andy Beshear(D)
vs.Former Gov. Matt Bevin(? R)

vs.Senator Rand Paul(? R)
vs.State Auditor Mike Harmon(R)
LA: Incumbent John Bel Edwards(D,term-limited)
vs.Biden Adviser Cedric Richmond(? D)
vs.Senator John Neely Kennedy(? R)
MS: Incumbent Tate Reeves(R)
vs.Bill Waller(R)

Gubernatorial Debates 2022:
AK: Incumbent Mike Dunleavy(R)
vs.Bill Walker(I)
vs.Les Gara(D)
vs.Billy Toien(L)
vs.State Rep. Chris Kurka(R)
AL: Incumbent Kay Ivey(R)
vs.Chris Countryman(D)
vs.Stacy Lee George(R)
vs.Ambassador Lynda Blanchard(R)
vs.State Sen. Malika Sanders-Fortier(D)
vs.Challenger Tim James(R)
AR: Incumbent Asa Hutchinson(R,term-limited)
vs.Trump Adviser Sarah Huckabee Sanders(R)
vs.A.G. Leslie Rutledge(R,withdrew Nov.2021)
vs.Ricky Dale Harrington(L)
vs.Anthony Bland(D)
AZ: Incumbent Doug Ducey(R,term-limited)
Mayor Marco Lopez(D)
vs.Former news anchor Kari Lake(R)
vs.Secretary of State Katie Hobbs(D)
vs.State Treasurer Kimberly Yee(R)
vs.U.S.Rep.Matt Salmon(R)
vs.Steve Gaynor(R)
vs.State Rep.Aaron Lieberman(D)
vs.Jorge Rivas(R)
vs.Karrin Taylor Robson(R)
CA: Incumbent Gavin Newsom(D)
vs.S.D.Mayor Kevin_Faulconer(R)
vs.Former Gov. nominee John Cox(R)
vs.Kevin Paffrath(D)
vs.State Sen. Brian Dahle(R)
CO: Incumbent Jared Polis(D)
vs.Mayor Greg Lopez(R)
vs.Heidi Ganahl(R)
CT: Incumbent Ned Lamont(D)
vs.Bob Stefanowski(? R)
FL: Incumbent Ron DeSantis(R)
vs.Former Gov.Charlie Crist(D)
vs.Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried(D)
vs.Annette Taddeo(D)
vs.Brian Moore(G)
GA: Incumbent Brian Kemp(R)
vs.Minority Leader Stacey Abrams(D)
vs.Senate candidate Shane Hazel(L)
vs.State Rep.Vernon Jones(R)
vs.2020 candidate Kandiss Taylor(R)
vs.Senator David Perdue(R)
HI: Incumbent David Ige(D,term-limited)
vs.Marissa Kerns(R)
vs.Lt.Gov.Josh Green(D)
vs.Vicky Cayetano(D)
vs.Paul Morgan(R)
vs.State Rep.Kirk Caldwell(D)
vs.U.S.Rep.Kai Kahele(D)
IA: Incumbent Kim Reynolds(R)
vs.Deidre DeJear(D)
vs.State Rep.Ras Smith(D)
ID: Incumbent Brad Little(R)
vs.Raul Labrador(R)
vs.Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin(R)
vs.Ammon Bundy(R)
vs.Ed Humphreys(R)
IL: Incumbent J.B. Pritzker(D)
vs.State Sen.Darren Bailey(R)
vs.Paul Schimpf(R)
vs.Jesse Sullivan(R)
KS: Incumbent Laura Kelly(D)
vs.Jeff Colyer(R)
vs.State Sen.Derek Schmidt(R)
vs.Chase LaPorte(R)
Gubernatorial Debates 2022 (continued):
MA: Incumbent Charlie Baker(R)
vs.Lt.Gov.Karyn Polito(R)
vs.State Rep. Geoff Diehl(R)
vs.Harvard Professor Danielle Allen(D)
vs.State Sen.Ben Downing(D)
vs.State Sen.Sonia Chang-Diaz(D)
vs.Shiva Ayyadurai(I)
vs.A.G. Maura Healey(D)
MD: Incumbent Larry Hogan(R,term-limited)
vs.State Del.Robin Ficker(R) vs.State Del.Peter Franchot(D) vs.State Del.Kelly M. Schulz(R) vs.Secretary John B. King(D) vs.Ashwani Jain(D) vs.State A.G. Doug Gansler(D) vs.County Exec. Rushern Baker(D) vs.Secretary Thomas Perez(D) vs.Wes Moore(D) vs.Dan Cox(R)
ME: Incumbent Janet Mills(D)
vs.Former Gov. Paul LePage(R)
MI: Incumbent Gretchen Whitmer(D)
vs.Chief James Craig(R)
vs.Police Chief Tudor Dixon(R)
vs.Garrett Soldano(R)
vs.John E. James(? R)
MN: Incumbent Tim Walz(DFL)
vs.Mayor Mike Murphy(R)
vs.State Sen.Scott Jensen(R)
vs.Michelle Benson(R)
vs.Paul Gazelka(R)
NE: Incumbent Pete Ricketts(R,term-limited)
vs.U.S.Senator Bob Krist(R)
vs.Chuck Herbster(R)
vs.Jim Pillen(R)
vs.Brett Lindstrom(R)
vs.Carol Blood(D)
vs.State Sen. Theresa Thibodeau(R)
NH: Incumbent Chris Sununu(R)
vs.Dan Feltes(D)
vs.Karen Testerman(R)
NM: Incumbent Michelle Lujan Grisham(D)
vs.Commissioner Jay Block(R)
vs.State Rep.Rebecca Dow(R)
vs.Mark Ronchetti(R)
NV: Incumbent Steve Sisolak(D)
vs.A.G.Adam Laxalt(R)
vs.North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee(R)
vs.Dean Heller(R)
vs.Joe Lombardo(R)
vs.Mayor Michele Fiore(R)
NY: Incumbent Andrew Cuomo(D,resigned)
vs.Acting Gov.Kathy Hochul(D)
vs.Rob Astorino(R)
vs.Andrew Giuliani(R)
vs.US.Rep.Lee Zeldin(R)
vs.Tom Suozzi(D)
vs.Attorney General Letitia James(D)
OH: Incumbent Mike DeWine(R)
vs.Former Rep.Jim Renacci(R)
vs.Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley(D)
vs.Mayor John Cranley(D)
OK: Incumbent Kevin Stitt(R)
vs.State Sen. Ervin Yen(R)
vs.Connie Johnson(D)
vs.Joy Hofmeister(D)
vs.Natalie Bruno(L)
OR: Incumbent Kate Brown(D,term-limited)
vs.Gov. nominee Bud Pierce(R)
vs.Paul Romero(R)
vs.Casey Kulla(D)
vs.Kerry McQuisten(R)
vs.Tina Kotek(D)
vs.Nicholas Kristof(D)
vs.Tobias Read(D)
vs.State Rep. Christine Drazan(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)
vs.William McSwain(R)
vs.U.S.Rep.Melissa Hart(R)
vs.State Sen.Scott Martin(R)
vs.State Sen. Scott Martin(R)
vs.State Sen. Doug Mastriano(R)
RI: Incumbent Gina Raimondo(D,to Cabinet)
vs.Gov. Dan McKee(D)
vs.Secy.Matt Brown(D)
vs.Mayor Allan Fung(R ?)
vs.Luis-Daniel Munoz(D)
vs.RI Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea(D)
vs.Seth Magainer(D)
vs.Helena Foulkes(D)
SC: Incumbent Henry McMaster(R)
vs.US.Rep.Joe Cunningham(D)
vs.State senator Mia McLeod(D)
SD: Incumbent Kristi Noem(R)
vs.State Rep. Billie Sutton(? D)
vs.Speaker Steven Haugaard(R)
TN: Incumbent Bill Lee(R)
vs.Carnita Atwater(D)
vs.J B Smiley(D)
TX: Incumbent Greg Abbott(R)
vs.Beto O`Rourke(D)
vs.Chad Prather(R)
vs.State Sen.Don Huffines(R)
vs.U.S.Rep. Allen West(R)
vs.Deidre Gilbert(D)
VT: Incumbent Phil Scott(R)
(no prospective opponents yet)
WI: Incumbent Tony Evers(D)
vs.CEO Jonathan Wichmann(R)
vs.Rebecca Kleefisch(R)
vs.State Rep. Timothy Ramthun(R)
WY: Incumbent Mark Gordon(R)
vs.Rex Rammell(R)
vs.Minority Leader Chris Rothfuss(? D)
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Page last updated: May 16, 2022