/ Modified jan 15, 2013 8:56 a.m.

Performance Key to Brewer's School Plan

Governor says budget proposal will 'start funding academic results'

Gov. Jan Brewer's education funding plan this year will change the public school funding formula to reward performance.

In her State of the State speech on Monday before a joint session of the Legislature, Brewer said, "it's time we start funding the academic results we want to see."

"What I am proposing is the nation's first comprehensive performance funding plan for our districts and charter schools," Brewer said. "This plan will reward schools that earn high marks or see real improvement in performance."

She said the attendance-based funding formula will be retained, and will be augmented with a formula based on performance.

"Together, let's stop simply funding the system we have and start funding the student achievement we want," Brewer said.

She gave no details, saying they will be in her budget proposal that will go to the Legislature on Friday.

School funding in Arizona is based on attendance, with schools funded a set amount for each child in school.

Brewer said she was proud that the Legislature last year funded the Move on When Ready reading program, infusing $40 million into schools to help children reaching reading proficiency by third grade. Brewer had asked for $50 million.

"This remains a state where one in four third graders can't read at or near grade level, and one in four students drops out of high school before graduation," she said. "It's no coincidence that those numbers are the same."

Also on the topic of education, Brewer said:

  • Application of the Common Core standards, which the state and 46 others nationally have adopted for their curricula, will help the state measure educational success.

  • Parents must take the lead in their children's education, because "reading proficiency starts at home."

  • "We have a responsibility to make certain our children have a safe place to learn." She proposed expanding state funding to train school resource officers and place more of them in schools.

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