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Auditor: Education money doesn’t go into a black hole

When Ducey’s “Classrooms First Initiative” 11-member council starts “scrubbing” the funding formulas to find new ways to get more money into the classrooms, the first thing it will find is that Arizona’s percentage of total spending on building and campus operations, food service, counselors, nurses, librarians and other support services is way above the national average.

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School advocates: It could work

Rebecca Gau, executive director of the education advocacy group Stand for Children, said she believes Ducey’s proposal to open up unused school facilities could benefit both district and charter schools, though she said a lot will depend on the details.

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Bye Huppenthal, hello ethnic studies!

Douglas agrees with Huppenthal’s conclusion that Tucson Unified School District is violating a 2011 law prohibiting ethnic studies that promote the overthrow of the US government and resentment toward a race or class, but the new schools chief struck a far more conciliatory tone.

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We the people applies at 60 percent

Lovas wants to make it more difficult to amend Arizona’s constitution, but first he’s got to convince voters that it’s the right thing to do. HCR2001 (constitutional amendments; 60 percent approval) would place a question on the 2016 ballot to amend the Arizona Constitution so that, in the future, constitutional changes would need the approval of at least 60 percent of voters.

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GOP excited, Dems deflated by speech

Ducey’s speech was well-received by GOP lawmakers. There weren’t any surprises, but Republicans were optimistic about the tone and direction he set for his administration. “Obviously, he’s outlining a vision, and next week we’ll hear more specifics.

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Sit tight, the end is nigh

Some of Brewer’s agency heads and others have been fidgeting over whether they’ll still have jobs under Ducey’s new administration. Last Wednesday, Ducey’s transition team told them to wait a little bit more, although it also looks like they – and those who are seeking jobs in the new administration – will have their answers soon.

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Don’t forget your checkbook

The end of any year is always met with a mix of emotions – gratitude for the things that went well in the previous 12 months, excitement about the upcoming challenges and regret for the things that didn’t go as hoped. For those who make a living in the government affairs arena, there’s an additional emotion: stress stemming from the flurry of legislative fundraisers that take place the first week of January.

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