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Regents vote to end mandatory student fee (access required)

Regents vote to end mandatory student fee <span class="dmcss_key_icon"><img alt="(access required)" src="/files/2013/12/lock1.png" border=0/></span>

Tuition bills for students at Arizona’s three universities will no longer include a $2 fee to fund a politically active, non-profit group.

The bills will contain a check box instead allowing students to contribute voluntarily to the Arizona Students Association, a group that advocates on student issues and lobbies at the Legislature.

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State prepares for debate on costly Common Core educational standards (access required)

State prepares for debate on costly Common Core educational standards <span class="dmcss_key_icon"><img alt="(access required)" src="/files/2013/12/lock1.png" border=0/></span>

Those who support Arizona’s new Common Core standards for math and English education say they help turn students into better thinkers and prepare them for college and the workforce.

Those who question the new standards say they could create added expenses for public schools, including new textbooks, teacher training and the need for new technology. They say the price tag, still undetermined, could be astronomical.

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Brewer seeks $317 million in new spending, largely for K-12 (access required)

Brewer seeks $317 million in new spending, largely for K-12 <span class="dmcss_key_icon"><img alt="(access required)" src="/files/2013/12/lock1.png" border=0/></span>

The Governor’s Office unveiled an $8.9 billion budget plan today for fiscal year 2014, which included $317 million in new spending. “We’re finally comfortable using red, so that should tell you something about the state budget,” John Arnold, director of the governor’s Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting, joked about the bright red color of the budget books distributed to the media at a press briefing today.

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Fiscal crisis past, Legislature still to be frugal in 2013

Fiscal crisis past, Legislature still to be frugal in 2013

With a fiscal crisis that forced billions of dollars in state government cuts mainly over, the Arizona Legislature enters its 2013 session Monday with a budget surplus but little appetite among majority Republicans to loosen the purse strings. The state has socked away about $450 million in a rainy day fund and has more than $1 billion in total surplus going into the budget year that begins July 1.

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AG’s Office, sheriffs to provide firearms training to school personnel (access required)

AG’s Office, sheriffs to provide firearms training to school personnel <span class="dmcss_key_icon"><img alt="(access required)" src="/files/2013/12/lock1.png" border=0/></span>

In the wake of the massacre that left 20 children dead at a Connecticut elementary school, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office wants to provide firearms training to one employee at every school.

Under the plan, which Attorney General Tom Horne announced today, every K-12 school in the state can designate its principal or another employee to receive extensive training to in firearms use and emergency response.

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