PHOENIX – Arizona’s Gov. Katie Hobbs’ budget proposal includes $17.1 billion in total spending for the 2024 fiscal year. The budget proposal focuses on boosting K-12, housing funds, and child tax credits.
Hobbs wants to stop giving money to rich K-12 schools earning high letter grades. In her proposal, the money intended for the rich K-12 schools will be given to K-12 basic schools and they can use it for boosting teacher pay, hiring more counselors, and buying items needed by the school. She also designated $522 million for school facilities, including $349 million for the repair and rehabilitation of existing schools and $173 million to finish three new schools.
But eliminating the school voucher expansion that allows children to use taxpayers’ funds for their education has no chance in the Republican-controlled Legislature. GOP Sen. T.J. Shope of Coolidge said that eligible parents would go ballistic if the program is removed after being told of Hobb’s plan to eliminate school voucher expansion.
Allie Bones, Hobbs’ chief of staff, said that circumstances like these really happened especially during a governor’s first year in office. The plan was just a starting point for negotiations and with the voucher program, showing what is possible by eliminating programs like Ducey’s voucher expansion is key, even if it goes nowhere.
The governor proposed to boost scholarships for low-income families by $40 million and created a scholarship program for so-called Dreamers, students who immigrated and are now eligible for in-state tuition. The $40 million scholarship program will help more than 3,100 students to pay tuition, and 5,000 additional students for the low-income Promise Program scholarships.