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Restoring District Additional Assistance

 K-12 Additional Assistance Funding

Both school districts and charter schools receive Additional Assistance formula funding. The amounts differ, as they are calculated by 2 separate formulas but both are intended to provide funding for expenditures outside the Maintenance & Operations (M&O). For school districts those items include soft capital items such as, textbooks, curriculum, technology and school buses as well as some capital funding. Prior to FY 2014, District Additional Assistance (DAA) was two separate formulas, one for Soft Capital and one for Capital Outlay. Those formulas were combined in FY 2014 and are now referred to as DAA. The Charter Additional Assistance (CAA) was intended to provide funds for those same items as for districts plus transportation and includes more for capital.

Since FY 2009, a portion of both DAA and CAA funding has been suspended. Below is a table showing the amount suspended, by fiscal year, and the average impact per student:

Fiscal Year Suspended Funding Per student

FY 2009 $25,000,000 $23.99

FY 2010 $148,000,000 $141.38

FY 2011 $175,120,700 $169.32

FY 2012 $269,641,500 $258.89

FY 2013 $254,641,500 $242.36

FY 2014 $254,641,500 $238.99

FY 2015 $254,641,500 $236.45

FY 2016 $371,098,700 $339.98

Without this funding, in addition to the other cuts to K-12, significantly hampered pubic schools’ ability to provide up to date curriculum, materials and technology for their students. This is especially concerning since during this same period, Arizona implemented new academic standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics and adopted a new statewide assessment. As the economy began to rebound, rather than restoring a portion of these funds the amounts suspended were actually increased by $116,457,200 in FY 2016. While the special session last fall attempts to address the cuts to M&O, until this funding is restored, districts and charters must make difficult choices. Arizona is in the midst of a teacher shortage, increasing teacher pay to retain experienced and effective educators is a huge priority, but so is ensuring students and educators have current curriculum and materials as well as updated technology. By restoring even a portion of this funding, schools may begin to address the needs of their students and staff without sacrificing one priority in favor of the other.

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