Gov. Ducey addresses school safety, teacher shortage, and budget in State of the State Address

PHOENIX (AP/FOX 10) -- Gov. Doug Ducey addressed a number of issues during his State of the State Address that was delivered Monday.

Gov. Ducey says his budget won't include much new spending, but he did say he wants to put dollars towards school safety and the Arizona Teachers Academy, which will pave a way for teachers to go to school in arizona and work in the state.

"If someone graduates from an Arizona university, is willing to stay in Arizona and teach in a public school, why not allow them to graduate debt free by providing a scholarship? So, we turned it into a reality, and launched the Arizona Teachers Academy," said Gov. Ducey, during the address. He went on to say that 221 people have already began enrolling in the program.

During the State of the State Address, Gov. Ducey said he wants to put funding towards the academy, as well as the Safe Arizona Schools Plan in his budget.

In addition, the governor also says he wants to increase the states rainy day fund to $1 billion. He says that would help ensure Arizona can weather the next recession without the severe cuts to education, public safety and other services that followed the last economic downturn.

Joe Thomas, President of Arizona Education Association, is hoping some of the budget surplus can go towards education.

"We would like to see some of that surplus spent in our schools. I think it would be wonderful to repair some air conditioners, repair some busses, maybe to buy some textbooks," said Thomas.

Thomas is also hoping to see more funding put towards education in addition to the teacher salary increases.

"If educators don't see real movement, real investment, then we may see a replay of last year because they know that's the only thing that's worked so far," said Thomas.

Ducey also says Arizona is the leader in school choice, and he plans to keep it that way.

"We believe that parents, they should be the ultimate paramount on where their kids go to school, so we want to see the expansion of ESA to allow us to bring our kids to whatever school we want," said Forest Moriarity, founder of Purple for Parents.

It is not known exactly how much money Gov. ducey is planning to put towards any of his proposals yet, but he's said to release his budget later in the week.

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The Associated Press (AP) contributed to this report.