PRIMER: Investing In Arizona’s K-12 Classrooms

News Release

April 29, 2019

Governor Ducey’s balanced budget saves for the future, pays down debt and strengthens our state’s fiscal position — all while making targeted investments in the things that matter. 

During his 2019 State of the State address, Governor Ducey said:

“The balanced budget I will present to you on Friday fully funds the priorities we know are important — public safety, child safety, education — above and beyond inflation.”

The fiscal year 2020 budget continues to deliver on Governor Ducey’s promise to increase funding above and beyond inflation for Arizona public K-12 schools every year he is in office.  

The budget invests a total $637 million in new dollars for K-12 education. Since Governor Ducey took office in 2015, Arizona has added 2.7 billion new dollars to K-12 education. When the FY2020 budget passes, the amount is projected to rise to over $4.5 billion.

Here’s more about how this year’s budget continues to invest in Arizona students and teachers:

  • Expanding Career And Technical Education: Arizona is committed to equipping our students to fill the jobs of tomorrow’s economy. Arizona is investing $10 million to expand Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs at high schools across the state. The budget also expands CTE programs at Maricopa County Community College and Pima Community College.
  • Fulfilling Teacher Pay Raises: This year’s budget includes $165 million to fulfill the second phase of 20 percent teacher pay raises by school year 2020.
  • Restoring Recession-Era Cuts: Last year’s budget included $100 million as part of a five-year plan to restore $371 million in recession-era cuts to district and charter additional assistance. This year’s budget includes $168 million in funding. These funds are permanent, flexible funding sources schools can use for capital and operational costs and additional support staff pay.
  • Arizona Teachers Academy: To address Arizona’s teacher shortage, Arizona is investing $21 million to expand the Arizona Teachers Academy to create a pipeline of talent and the next generation of Arizona teachers. Through the program, graduates of the Arizona Teachers Academy who agree to teach in Arizona public schools have their tuition and fees waived.  
  • Enhancing School Safety: As part of Governor Ducey’s Safe Arizona Schools plan to increase school safety, the budget invests $12 million over the next two years for an additional 224 school counselors, 112 this year and 112 next year.
  • New School Construction: The budget includes a total of $191 million in new school construction to build 12 new schools.