It’s truly a new day in Arizona. For the first time in over 10 years, pro-public education advocates have an ally in the governor’s suite. This Monday, January 9, with the legislature’s opening day and Katie Hobbs’ first State of the State speech, the 2023 Arizona state legislative session will begin.
Hobbs is inheriting a legislature that, despite having the same razor-thin partisan margins, now tilts further right than ever before. The MAGA right ousted anyone who didn’t parrot their extreme views in the August primaries.
What does this mean for bills impacting K-12 schools, educators and students in 2023? The evaporation of the center-right, and the accompanying growth of what’s often called the “no caucus” (belligerent ideologues who’d rather complain than govern), likely spells even more infighting in Arizona’s Republican caucus. This, along with Gov. Hobbs’ veto pen, means less harm. But public education advocates still hold considerable concern about progress on critically needed policy improvements, including more equitable funding, teacher pay, full-day kindergarten, and rolling back the massive ESA voucher program that is siphoning hundreds of millions of dollars from public schools and driving our state to bankruptcy.