While Arizonans can, and should, boast about our amazing educators, world-class universities, top tier schools and community colleges, award-winning programs, and much more, we are still not doing enough to ensure every student has access to an excellent education every step of the way. To highlight only the successes is to tell only part of the story; Arizonans deserve the full narrative.

We are not on track to meet the goals outlined in the Arizona Education Progress Meter and our state’s low-income students are not receiving the support they need to succeed. This impacts all of us.

Investments proposed in STEM and workforce development funding, career and technical education, broadband, teacher pay and school safety are critical and encouraging. We look forward to learning the details when the budget is released on Friday.

But we should be clear that pilot programs and investments that partially address targeted needs won’t get us where we need to go. Closing Arizona’s achievement gap and meeting our shared goals requires us to get real about the cost of the audacious change needed in all of education, from the early years through postsecondary, and a commitment to put politics aside and work together on the necessary sustainable, long-term investments needed to get there. These are indeed real kids and families we’re talking about. Let’s make sure we don’t leave a single one of them behind.

– Christine M. Thompson, President & CEO, Expect More Arizona
In response to Governor Doug Ducey’s State of the State address on January 13, 2020.