- Associated Press - Monday, January 12, 2015

PHOENIX (AP) - Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey says he wants the state’s schools to spend more money in the classroom and less on support services.

The classrooms-first initiative Ducey announced in his first state of the state address Monday is part of a plan to shift state spending from support to actual classroom teaching.

Arizona schools spent 54 percent of their available operating cash on classroom instruction in 2013. The most recent state Auditor General’s report shows that’s more than 7 percentage points below the national average.

Schools in Arizona have higher energy, transportation, food-service, counseling and other expenses than the national average. But administrative costs are less.

Ducey created a team to look at the state’s school funding formulas to identify ways to get more money into the classroom.

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