Douglas: No IT Funding For Schools Is 'Massive Oversight'

By Holliday Moore, Matthew Casey
Published: Monday, January 23, 2017 - 5:35pm
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Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas told Arizona lawmakers Monday that the state of education is at a crossroads.

Douglas spoke for about 20 minutes to members of the Arizona House of Representatives. She championed victories and laid out challenges ahead.

Toward the end of her speech, Douglas said funding for the Department of Education’s has fallen 20 percent in recent years.

“We all know we need to do more with less sometimes,” Douglas said.

Then Douglas turned to Gov. Doug Ducey’s recently released budget, which she said includes a “massive oversight” of no money for information technology.

“No maintenance or development funding for a system that processes $5 billion, that’s billion with a B, in state funds would make it impossible to pay our schools and maintain secure student data,” Douglas said.

Analysts allocated zero with the intent to change the figure after thorough review, said Dawn Wallace, senior adviser to the governor for education and strategic initiatives.   

“The numbers are different, but that doesn’t mean that eventually we don’t want to get to funding more in education,” Wallace said.