Governor Doug Ducey delivered his annual state-of-the-state address Monday remotely amid a major surge in COVID-19 cases.
During his speech he seemed to make a threat to schools still conducting virtual learning because of the COVID-19 pandemic that they must return to in-person class or possibly lose funding.
“We will not be funding empty seats or allowing schools to remain in a perpetual state of closure. Children still need to learn, even in a pandemic,” Ducey said.
He did not elaborate on the threat or say when schools must reopen. Ducey’s aides didn’t immediately respond to a request for explanation.
During his speech the Republican governor also defended his reluctance to institute broader COVID lockdowns and stay-at-home orders amid criticism he hasn’t done enough to curb the pandemic in the state, which is currently a national hotspot.
In addition, Ducey laid out his other priorities for the year including tax reform, COVID liability protections, broadband expansion and wildfire prevention.