As the voice of 20,000 public school employees in Arizona, the AEA proposes the Educators’ Budget to recruit and retain quality educators and provide the support and resources our students need. Funding these priorities will demonstrate the value Arizona has for our educators and can be accomplished with the surplus. It’s time for a state budget that values educators and Arizona voters’ priorities.
Ongoing funding to be used for the following priorities:
- Increased Base Funding: Increase the base amount of money the state gives to K-12 public education.
- Opportunity Weight: Establish a new funding weight for our schools that serve the most in-need students to provide additional resources and supports.
- Special Education (SPED) Funding: Increased funding for our students with disabilities and/or that receive special education services.
- Tribal Student Weight: Establish a new funding weight providing additional monies for schools that serve indigenous students and students in tribal areas.
- Restore Full-Day Kindergarten: Fully restores state funding for full-day kindergarten that was cut during the Great Recession.
- Pre-K: Provide additional state funding for free and accessible preschool.
- Career and Technical Education (CTE): Expand and increase access to high-quality CTE programs and courses.
- Community Schools: Funding for Arizona Community Schools in districts where Arizona’s students are most underserved and living in poverty.
- Background: Community Schools are public schools that provide services and support which fit each neighborhood’s needs, created and run by the people who know our children best – families, educators, community organizations, local governments, and the students themselves.
- Junior High School Weight: Establish a new funding weight for grades 6-8, recognizing those grades require additional resources and supplies to prepare students for high school.
- District Additional Assistance (DAA) Inflation: Increase DAA annually to keep up with inflation to ensure schools can still afford textbooks, computers, and other classroom supplies. Since the creation of the DAA formula it has never increased to account for inflation, and it would put it on an equal footing as Charter Additional Assistance which does increase annually for inflation.
- Teachers Academy: Increase funding to the Teachers Academy to provide additional scholarships to future educators and ensure they graduate debt-free.
One-time funding for the following priorities:
- Retention Bonuses: Provide a $2,000 bonus to every educator and educational support professional.
- School Facilities Funding: Provide funding for school facilities repair and maintenance, recognizing the state has failed to fully fund school capitol since before the Great Recession.
- Broadband Access: Provide additional funding for broadband access in rural and remote areas of the state so every student and school has access to reliable, high-speed internet.
Fix Fiscal Cliffs
In addition to these funding priorities, permanent fixes are needed to address the constitutional aggregate school expenditure limit and the triggers in Prop 123 to prevent further cuts to education funding.
- Repeal the school spending limit: Repeal the Aggregate Expenditure Limit.
- Remove Proposition 123 triggers: Remove the 49% and 50% triggers that would allow legislators to suspend inflation funding and cut funding at twice the rate of inflation respectively. Address the funding cliff.