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KNAU and Arizona News

State Panel Unveils School Funding Proposals

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Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is praising the work of a panel that looked at ways to overhaul the state's complex school funding formula, saying they laid a roadmap for change in the coming years.

But the governor acknowledged that with that plan comes the need to boost funding beyond what the state can afford. He says he will add additional money in next month's state budget proposal while also championing change that will help boost the results in the classroom.

The report released Wednesday by the governor's Classrooms First Initiative Council recommends replacing the state's current K-12 school funding formula with a single simplified formula for all public schools and allocating funds using a lump-sum formula. The council also recommends consolidating property tax rates and reducing reliance on property tax overrides.

Another key recommendation is an across-the-board teacher salary increase to address the shortage of classroom instructors.

Ducey says he'll lay out the next steps in next month's State of the State address.

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