Sufficient school funding, spent wisely, is critical to student success.
This is why Stand for Children Arizona identified school funding as a key initiative last year in our 2015 Impact Agenda.
Today, Governor Doug Ducey took the first step in leading a statewide conversation about securing additional funding for our schools.
His announcement to send a ballot measure to voters in 2016 to use revenue from State Land Trusts to provide resources is the first step to getting Arizona off the bottom of the list in per pupil funding, teacher pay, and academic achievement.
His plan to increase basic state aid for students does several things:
- Does not raise taxes
- Provides new money to a system that has been starved
- Gives local control to decide how the money is best spent
- Allows more time for the general fund time to fully recover from the economic recession
The proposal, which Governor Ducey stated was a “five year solution and a ten year plan,” looks to generate approximately $350 million per year and would mean an approximate 10% increase in per pupil funding from state money for the next ten years.
This financial infusion, paired with good decision-making by locally elected school boards and charter schools, is a step in the right direction.
While money isn’t the silver bullet when it comes to improving Arizona’s schools, it’s critical that we fund schools wisely and sufficiently. This is essential to putting our students on the path to success.
As with any big policy or funding priority, the devil is always in the details. So, we look forward to hearing more about this plan and working with the legislature, our elected officials, parents, and the voters of this state to ensure we give every child in Arizona the resources they need to excel.
- Rebecca Gau, Executive Director