Governor Ducey speaks out about budget and common core

After major protests at the Capitol and weeks of debate at the legislature, Governor Doug Ducey is expected to sign the state budget.

The $9.1 billion budget is slightly smaller than last years, but critics say education is taking a big hit.

The Governor says education represents close to 50% of the state's budget, and despite what the critics say, he feels the budget works for Arizona.

"We do have a truly balanced budget, a structurally balanced budget, and now it is about the path forward," said Arizona Governor Doug Ducey.

After speaking at an event honoring the Girl Scouts, Governor Ducey said the budget reflects the fiscal realities of the state.

"I have been in office for less than three months; I have to deal with the financial numbers I have been dealt. I said I want to handle this at the speed of business, and make the difficult decisions now, but protect the most vulnerable and K-12 education, and this budget reflects that," he said.

But the huge crowds that protested at the Capitol clearly disagree. Even Arizona State University President Michael Crow called the budget a setback for Arizona. State universities will see a cut of about $100 million.

"The total budget is 49% toward education, both K-12 and universities. There were some difficult decisions that needed to be made... we are spending more money this year than we did last year in K-12 education. We are spending more money than has ever been spent in the history of K-12 education," said Ducey.

And another education battle may be looming, the State House recently passed a bill repealing the Federal Common Core standards.

Governor Ducey refused to comment on the pending legislation but said this. "I am certainly opposed to the Federal Government overreach, one size fits all approach and hw they tie it to Federal dollars and how waivers are received," he said.

The State Senate still has to vote on the bill repealing common core.

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