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Governor's Budget Cuts Threaten Student Health and Safety

AEA Analysis of Governor Ducey’s Proposed K-12 Education Budget
Fiscal Year 2015-2016 PDF

Elimination of School Funding

Charter School Funding Reduction
Reduces charter additional assistance funds by $10,268,900. Directs this reduction to be in non-classroom spending at charter schools.

Inflation Funding
$85.3 million for 1.57% inflation increase to the per student base level amount, the transportation route mile factor, and the charter school additional assistance. Also provides $74.4 million for the base level increase. This amount falls far short of what the court has ordered for inflation funding. In July 2014 Judge Cooper ordered that the state must reset the base level to $3,559.62 for the 2013-2014 fiscal year. Governor Ducey’s proposal only sets the base level at $3,481.23 which is $184.89 below what it should be in fiscal year 2015-2016—$3,666.12.

Fiscal Year1   Legislative Base Level2 Inflation3   Appropriately Adjusted Base Level4
 FY 2008-2009   $3,291.42  N/A    N/A
 FY 2009-2010   $3,267.72  2%  $3,357.25
 FY 2010-2011  $3,267.72  1.2%   $3,397.54
 FY 2011-2012   $3,267.72  0.9%  $3,428.11
 FY 2012-2013   $3,267.72  2%  $3,496.68
 FY 2013-2014  $3,326.54   1.8%  $3,559.62
 FY 2014-2015  $3,373.11   1.4%  $3,609.45
FY 2015-2016 $3,481.23 (Ducey’s budget) 1.57% $3,666.12

1 Fiscal Year: The applicable fiscal year.
2 Legislative Base Level: What the base level has actually been (as funded by the Legislature and Governor).
3 Inflation: What the appropriate inflation adjustment has been each year.
4 Appropriately Adjusted Base Level: What the base level would have been each year if adjustments had been consistently and properly made.

Access Our Best Public Schools Fund (repeals “Student Success Funding”)

District Sponsored Charter School Phase Out

Career Ladder Completely Eliminated
Decreases the state’s General Fund portion of Career Ladder by the remaining amount of $716,700 for the complete phase-out of the Career Ladder Program. Funding for the Career Ladder Program is all together eliminated in school year 2015-2016.

Homeowner’s Rebate Cap

1% Cap

Fails to Appropriate Funds for School District Enrollment Growth
Governor Ducey’s proposal provides $55,235,400 for a predicted 4.5% increase in charter school Average Daily Membership (ADM). The Ducey budget predicts that district ADM (student growth) will be zero. Overall, the Ducey budget provides a 0.66% increase in student count for the fiscal year 2016 budget (this is a smaller number than the 4.5% since charter school students represent a much smaller proportion of the entire student count in Arizona). The legislature’s budget analysts (JLBC) predict enrollment growth at 1.4% across the board (districts and charters) for a total cost of $82.2 million. If the budget approved by the legislature uses the Ducey enrollment growth numbers and student enrollment turns out to be higher as JLBC predicts, then the state’s budget will fall short and districts will need a supplemental appropriation in early 2016 in order to meet their funding needs for the 2015-2016 school year.

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