Print Brewer’s proposed budget puts her on team Arizona kids
Written by Trista Steers MacVittie   
Thursday, 24 January 2013 15:13

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is finally making the state’s future a priority.

After years of slashes to school funding along with underfunding a struggling child welfare system, Brewer’s proposed budget remembers Arizona’s children. Smart, safe and loved children equal a better future for Arizona.

Larson Newspapers Managing Editor Trista Steers MacVittieThe budget released by Brewer’s office calls for $318 million in new spending and includes more money for education, school resource officers, Child Protective Services and the state’s foster care system.

School districts, including Mingus Union High, Cottonwood-Oak Creek and Clarkdale-Jerome school districts, took hits as the economy tanked and found themselves on the chopping block as Brewer and state legislators struggled to balance the budget. While state dollars flowing into schools kept decreasing, funding levels and performance of Arizona’s students as a whole remained near the bottom when compared with other states.

Brewer appears to be addressing the floundering education system; but not by pumping more cash into a broken machine. Instead, her proposals call for more money for new programs designed to improve education in Arizona.

Brewer’s new plan attempts to address this with $61.5 million for a replacement of the Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards.

Another $36 million in incentive funding would reward academic achievement and improvement rather than throwing money at something that isn’t working.

School safety, which is on the minds of every parent, teacher and community member right now, is also slated to receive help in the form of school resource officer funding. Brewer’s budget calls for $3.6 million in matching funds to hire 100 officers.

Her plan also takes care of children when they aren’t at school with a proposed $62.8 million to boost protection services. This money is intended to pay for more CPS staff to handle the heavy case load and provide assistance to foster families in Arizona.

In the past it appeared Brewer and the state turned a blind eye to the needs of our state’s children, and this might be Brewer’s attempt to make up the losses suffered by those important services.

Whether her figures make it through the state Legislature intact remains to be seen, but at least our kids know Brewer is now on their side.