The state Education Department wants the Legislature to provide $16.5 million to finish modernizing a computer system that tracks the attendance and test scores of individual students.

Officials say the work is needed because the current system is burdensome to use and doesn't provide timely data to classroom teachers.

The Arizona Republic reported Monday that the funding request for the Student Accountability Information System is a priority of state Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal for the legislative session that begins Jan. 13.

Gov. Jan Brewer will release her budget proposal on Jan. 17. Last year, she sought increased funding for education, including the data system. The Legislature approved an $82 million increase in K-12 funding but provided little for the data system or for Brewer's performance-based funding plan.