For Immediate Release
January 30, 2020
Local Impact, Governor Doug Ducey’s Educational Budget Proposal
On January 13, 2020 Arizona Governor, Doug Ducey released his FY2021 budget proposal, which allocates $12.3 billion expenditures with an estimated $12.49 billion in total revenue. In addition to the proposed budget, the governor includes deposits an additional $25 million into the budget stabilization fund (known as the “rainy day fund”). Some of the major, most significant items directly related to K-12 education including the following:
- Adjustment for inflation (1.88%, but projected to be closer to 1.77%)
- Final installment of the 20x2020 teacher pay plan
- 71.35% of the 5% increase for FY2021 is to come from the state’s general fund and the balance to come from the Classroom Site Fund. The outlier is that the resources that are expected to come from the Classroom Site Fund were already designated to be provided to teachers through the “waterfall” allocation method of the Classroom Site Fund.
- Move funding to be based on the letter grades instead of AzMERIT scores
- Letter grade of “A” automatically qualifies
- Letter grade of “B” AND 60% or more of the students participating in free and reduced-price lunch programs would qualify
- The Governor estimates that the number of awarded schools will increase from 538 total schools awarded under the AzMERIT system to 743 total schools who received an “A” or a “B”.
School Safety Grant Program
= Would fund all “first choice” counselor, social worker, and school resource officer positions that were not funded by awards by the State Board of Education in December 2019.
Closing the Achievement Gap (“Project Rocket”)
= Targeted financial support to underperforming and failing schools
o $150/student for C schools with greater than 60% free and reduced-price lunch population, plus all D and F schools without any parameters.
o Three-year pilot program
o Money would be used to implement “proven turnaround strategies”
o Success measured by moving up a letter grade, earning at least 50% growth points in the letter grade framework, and improvement in attendance.
The district’s Chief Financial Officer Mr. Dale Ponder says “the district is appreciative of the prospect of these restored and additional resources, and the positive steps being made to improve the landscape of K-12 education in Arizona. However, much is still yet to be accomplished for the youth in our schools, and community. Our team remains diligent in our efforts to advocate for the necessary funding of public schools in Arizona.”