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Education Proponents Want Special Legislative Session On School Funding

Published: Thursday, September 3, 2015 - 6:38pm
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Education advocates gathered Thursday at the state capitol. They want Gov. Doug Ducey and the state legislature to call a special session to resolve the issue of inflation funding to schools.

A state judge has ruled Arizona owes its public schools more than $1 billion in payments not made to account for inflation — the judge has already ordered the state to pay more than $300 million.

Jonathan Parker teaches AP U.S. History at Thunderbird High School in the Glendale Union High School District.

"Since 2008, we have done little to incentivize this profession. We are not enticing teachers to this profession, we are chasing some of our best to other professions," Parker said. "And that is a legislative choice. Insufficient funding is easily defined. There is not political ambiguity from my colleagues."

So, how optimistic are advocates that there will be a special session to resolve this issue? We put that question to Jennifer Johnson, executive director of Support Our Schools AZ, and a former Deputy State Superintendent.

We also reached out to the governor’s office. In an email, a gubernatorial spokesman pointed out Gov. Ducey called for ending the lawsuit early in his administration, and that he’s willing to listen to any idea that gets more money to schools without raising taxes.

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