Governor Ducey Announces $163 Million To Increase Per Pupil Funding In Schools

News Release

August 17, 2021

Schools Following All State Laws Are Eligible For New Grant

PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey today announced district and charter schools following all state laws and remaining open for in-person instruction will be eligible for $163 million in grant funding aimed at boosting per pupil spending.

“Parents have worked tirelessly over the past year and a half to keep their kids on track," said Governor Ducey. "Parents are in the driver’s seat, and it’s their right to make decisions that best fit the needs of their children. Safety recommendations are welcomed and encouraged — mandates that place more stress on students and families aren’t. These grants acknowledge efforts by schools and educators that are following state laws and keeping their classroom doors open for Arizona’s students. My thanks to legislative leadership for working collaboratively over the last couple of months to put more money into K-12 education and ensure schools are in compliance with state law.”  

The $163 million, made available through the federal American Rescue Plan, will be distributed through the Education Plus Up Grant program to district and charter schools following all state laws and remaining open for in-person instruction as of August 27 and throughout the remainder of the school year. In response to the pandemic, the federal government provided additional funding to schools in need; however, the federal allocation methodology resulted in significant disparities across schools. The goal of the Education Plus Up Grant Program is to give every K-12 public and charter school the opportunity to receive up to $1,800 per pupil funding. 

In order to close the federal per pupil funding gap, the Governor’s new grant program will provide supplemental dollars to schools that did not receive as much federal funding. Education Plus Up Grant funding is contingent on being in full compliance with state law, including Laws 2021, Chapter 404, the FY 2022 K-12 Budget Reconciliation Bill for the entirety of the 2021-2022 school year. 

“We're making historic, targeted investments to ensure all students across Arizona have access to new opportunities, help adult students connect with jobs, strengthen literacy education in K-12 schools, enhance professional development for teachers, and expand access to high quality education,” the Governor added. “Students continue to excel in and out of the classroom as they recover from the effects of the pandemic and distance learning, and we will continue to put our resources toward helping them succeed."

On June 24, 2020, Governor Ducey announced $69.2 million in GEER funding for Arizona schools and students in greatest need. The targeted investments addressed issues like helping expand broadband, supporting innovative programs, and recruiting future teachers.

On October 15, 2020, Governor Ducey announced $500,000 in GEER funding to continue expanding efforts across the state to increase high quality education options. The dollars were distributed by A for Arizona and supported the creation of effective small learning models and community partnerships that target students and families in need.

On November 10, 2020, the Governor, in partnership with Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman, announced $19 million in GEER funding to support schools and students most impacted by COVID-19. The dollars helped schools with teacher development, teacher stipends, reading and math curriculum, summer education resources and more.

On April 29, 2021, Governor Ducey announced the state’s distribution of $26.5 million to support Summer learning programs, reach struggling students, enhance student achievement and expand tutoring opportunities. 

On June 30, 2021, Governor Ducey signed Arizona’s fiscally conservative FY22 budget, which includes significant investments in K-12 students, schools, teachers and programs across the state.