The state would have more investigators to look into teachers accused of misconduct, under the budget proposal unveiled Friday by Gov. Doug Ducey.
Ducey’s proposed budget, the largest in Arizona state history, would pay for five new investigators at the Arizona Department of Education. Those investigators would examine complaints against teachers, including allegations about teachers having sexual relationships with students.
Since 2012, the number of disciplinary actions taken by the State Board of Education on cases investigated by the Department of Education has increased by 238%, according to Ducey’s office.
On average, 1,000 cases are opened a year. An investigation by the Arizona Republic and KJZZ found that state investigators are looking into as many as 165 complaints at a time. As a result, misconduct has gone unpunished.
Ducey’s budget allocates $430,000 to hire five new investigators, which the budget states is expected to reduce caseloads by half.