Gubernatorial Debate Focuses On Education

By Dennis Lambert
Published: Monday, September 29, 2014 - 8:08am

Education was the focus of a debate Sunday night between the top two candidates to replace Jan Brewer as Arizona governor.

Democrat Fred DuVal said the Common Core standards are key to the state’s economic development, but he said business executives wanting to relocate here still have questions.

“How will my workforce be skilled enough to give me the talent that I need to achieve my business growth? Will my children have good schools to go to? Will my employees' children have good schools to go to?" DuVal said.

DuVal said how that question is answered depends on Common Core and on improving the state’s 47th place nationally in school funding.

Republican Doug Ducey said he supports educational standards that are developed in Arizona, by Arizonans and he questions why so much money is needed to run the public schools.

Ducey said all told classroom spending is about $9,000 per pupil in Arizona.

“Yet we've got classrooms where they're saying we can't afford a teacher, we can't afford a teacher's aide," Ducey said. "Somewhere, there must be some overhead. Somewhere, something must be broken.”

Ducey said he wants to find ways to get more money into the classroom. DuVal said restoring money that was cut during the recession is the first step.

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