KJZZ is a service of Rio Salado College, and Maricopa Community Colleges
Privacy Policy | FCC Public File | Contest Rules
Copyright © 2024 KJZZ/Rio Salado College/MCCCD
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Hoffman Calls On Arizona Lawmakers To Fully Fund Schools As They Continue To Face Challenges

Kathy Hoffman
Arizona Department of Education
handout | agency | Received photos and permissions from: Stefan Swiat, Arizona Department of Education Public Information Officer 602-542-2086, 602-316-0354 (cell), [email protected]
Kathy Hoffman in June 2019.

During the pandemic, Arizona schools have faced unexpected expenses to keep students and staff safe, but the state continues to deny them the long-term funding they need, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman said during her State of Education address Tuesday at a Senate Education Committee meeting. 

Public schools are projected to lose up to $500 million because the state currently funds distance learning at a lower rate than in-person instruction, Hoffman said. The state’s enrollment stabilization grant program meant to address this issue fell short by $247 million. While schools are receiving federal relief funding, Hoffman said it's not enough to cover gaps in schools’ budgets. 

“When the state sits on a billion-dollar rainy day fund and projects a two-billion-dollar surplus, there is no excuse to not fully fund every school," she said. "There has never been a more urgent time to tap into our safety net and provide for Arizonans. Anyone who thinks it's not raining in Arizona right now needs to check their privilege.”

Hoffman also criticized talks of tax cuts during this time of need, likely a jab at the  budget proposal Gov. Doug Ducey unveiled last month. 

Rocio Hernandez is a senior field correspondent who was raised in the Las Vegas valley. She temporarily left the desert to work as the first bilingual reporter at KUER in Salt Lake City, Utah. There she covered immigration and education stories. Prior to KUER, Hernandez worked at the Associated Press’s office in Phoenix and has also interned for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Reno Public Radio (KUNR) and the East Bay Times. Hernandez fell in love with audio storytelling after participating in an NPR's “Next Gen Radio” training as a student at the University of Nevada, Reno.In her spare time, Hernandez enjoys cuddling with her two poodles, sipping margaritas and spending time with her husband.