PHOENIX – Governor Doug Ducey today, in cooperation with superintendents, school business officials, the business community, education champions, as well as legislative and elected leaders, announced a plan to restore Recession-era cuts to a key part of the school funding formula.
In fiscal year (FY) 2019, this will mean $100 million for Arizona public schools. On top of this, the governor’s budget also provides an additional $300 million for K-12 in FY 2019 – bringing the total to $400 million in new K-12 dollars, which includes a $10 million supplemental for FY 2018.
Governor Ducey is proposing a full restoration of $371 million in District Additional Assistance and Charter Additional Assistance, phased-in over five years. This will begin in FY 2019, with $100 million. These per-pupil dollars will be permanent and flexible, and impact all schools – no matter their location or affluence.
By FY 2023, Governor Ducey’s plan would fully restore Additional Assistance to all public schools:
- $100 million in FY 2019
- $168 million in FY 2020
- $236 million in FY 2021
- $303 million in FY 2022
- $371 million in FY 2023
While traditionally used for capital needs, school leaders will maintain the flexibility to use these dollars where they are needed most. This investment, along with a review of Arizona’s school capital guidelines, will assist in greater capacity and efficiency in managing school facilities.
Reversing these cuts will free up operational dollars currently used for capital that can now be used for their intended purpose: increasing teacher salaries.
Since FY 2015, school districts have increased their investment in teacher salaries by nine percent. It is clear: principals, superintendents and school board members are directing these dollars where they should go, to our dedicated teachers.
In addition, the FY 2019 Executive Budget provides $300 million in additional funding for K-12 Education, including:
- $116 million for student growth and inflation;
- $88.1 million in debt financing leveraged by $5.1 million from the General Fund to construct new schools or expand capacity;
- $35.2 million for building renewal grants to improve or repair aging school facilities (that brings the total to $51.8 million), plus $10 million in supplemental funding for additional grants in FY 2018;
- $34 million for the second year of the teacher salary increase and moving the total increase into the base level to ensure it will be adjusted for inflation every year (that brings the total to $68 million);
- $4 million to continue expanding early literacy funding for all-day kindergarten and other critical early childhood programs;
- $2.5 million to expand the Governor’s Partnership for K-12 Computer Science pilot program that will allow schools to offer high-quality, rigorous training for new computer science teachers;
- $2 million to fully funding large Joint Technical Education Districts (JTEDs), which serve more than half of all students attending JTEDs;
- And $7.6 million in other key education investments on information technology projects and assessments.
Beyond these initiatives – later this month, the governor will announce a plan to spend millions on new school buses.
Not reflected above is funding to hire additional early intervention teachers for students with disabilities.
Governor Doug Ducey:
“I’ve said we will never check the box on education. This proposal continues our commitment to fully restoring cuts made to schools during the Recession in a permanent and flexible way. I thank all the stakeholders and education leaders working with us to get this done and look forward to putting this needed plan into action.”
Camille Casteel, Superintendent of Chandler Unified School District:
“ I commend the Governor for his leadership and commitment to restoring the formula. Today is only the beginning of great things to come for education.”
Mike Cowan, Superintendent of Mesa Unified School District:
“The restoration of Additional District Assistance will mean the return of much needed resources to our district. We have had to make difficult choices, and now we can balance our need to increase teacher pay and capital, without sacrificing one for the other. “