2016 Legislative Threats to Education Funding
If passed, Prop 123 will bring $3.5 billion over ten years into the classrooms of our Arizona PreK-12 public education students. This settlement agreement represents the largest influx of money in our Arizona Public Schools in the past 15 years.
Yet, these three legislative decisions threaten to drain real dollars from this much needed Proposition:
- Current-Year Funding is a law slipped into last year’s legislative budget and due for implementation in Fiscal Year (FY) 2017.
- Elimination of court-ordered Desegregation Funding to 19 Arizona public school districts is being considered by the Legislature in Senate Bill 1125 and House Bill 2401. Contact your legislators and ask them to oppose these bills.
- Expansion of Empowerment Scholarship Accounts, which diverts public money from public schools to private schools without accountability. Contact your legislators to oppose voucher expansion.
Below, please find the facts regarding the effects of the implementation of Current-Year Funding and the elimination of Desegregation Funding.
- Approximately 60% of all Arizona school districts will lose real dollars when Current-Year Funding is implemented. This funding model defunds Prop 123, a message that runs counter to the expectations of the Arizona voters in recent polling. See AEA Report Here.
- In all of the 19 Arizona school districts that have the potential of having their Desegregation Funds eliminated and having Current-Year Funding implemented, ALL of these school districts will see NO net increase n FY17 Funding. In fact, most will lose more than Prop 123 would provide. See AEA Report Here.
- According to a recent report by the Arizona Republic, the uncontrolled growth of Education Savings Accounts (ESA) will continue to reduce school district budgets. See Arizona Republic ESA Report.
These three issues, or each one individually, could undermine the passage of Proposition 123.
In a year where the focus should be on increased financial support to our public school classrooms, every effort must be made to stop the elimination of Desegregation funding, re-examine the financially-draining effects of Current-Year Funding on our public schools, and stop the expansion of Education Savings Accounts. Please reach out to legislators and Governor Ducey.
Contact Stacey Morley, AEA Government Relations if you have questions.