233 AZ Superintendents sent a letter to AZ Legislators

| February 20, 2015

Here is an article by Arizona Education News Service:

February 18, 2015 / Nedda Shafir/Arizona School Administrators Inc. / Stories by You

Two hundred thirty three Arizona school district superintendents, who are members of Arizona Association of School Administrators, sent a letter today to Arizona Legislators. The letter is in response to the K-12 education portion of Gov. Doug Ducey’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2016, which begins July 1.

To the Members of the Arizona State Senate, House of Representatives, and the People they serve:

As public school leaders throughout Arizona, we are deeply concerned with the Executive Budget Proposal put forth by Governor Ducey. For the past six years, in order to balance the state budget, the majority of Arizona’s classrooms have been shortchanged by the actions of our elected officials. During this time, classroom teachers, principals and district leaders have been burdened with ever increasing requirements that further erode the instructional time and direct services available to our classrooms. To this end, we ask you to adopt a budget that does not cut funding to K-12 district schools.

Previous reductions to our budgets have included:
• full day kindergarten – a classroom expense,
• instructional materials funds – a classroom expense,
• failure to fund inflation–which would have helped with classroom expenses.

The Executive Budget Proposal reduces the funding to districts, and the students they serve, by an estimated $120 per student. For a vast number of districts, the funds slated to be cut in the Executive Budget Proposal already have been transferred into paying for “in the classroom” staff and services. Many districts across the state use these funds to provide the staff and materials for classroom programs, including full day kindergarten, a critical investment not funded by the legislature. Reducing this funding is taking money out of the classroom and out of services to students.

Many of the dollars remaining in non-classroom categories are subject to limitations and regulations by funding sources. Other non-classroom funds pay for services whose fees are fixed, such as utilities and technology licensing. As a result, reductions in this funding will be reflected in reduced hours or layoffs for essential staff, such as:
• crossing guards and security staff,
• transportation workers who maintain and drive school buses
• nurses who care for vulnerable students,
• psychologists who work with students with special needs,
• custodians who keep schools clean,
• maintenance workers who keep the classrooms and buildings functional, and
• office staff and district supervisors, assistant principals and teacher trainers.

While not technically in the classroom, these are vital services utilized by parents, students and staff members and cuts will directly affect the teaching and learning environment in our schools.

The well-being of our State and potential of its citizens is threatened by the failure to adequately invest in the development of ALL our young people. We are sharing our concerns about the Executive Budget Proposal with our elected representatives and the communities we serve. The proposed reductions, if enacted, will effect student achievement, student health, and campus security. By any measure, the proposed cuts will have an overall detrimental impact on student success, making the mission of educating Arizona’s youth even more challenging.

The opinions expressed in this letter represent the views of more than 233 public school superintendents and leaders listed below.

For further information, contact the Arizona School Administrators, Inc. at 602-252-0361 or www.azsa.org.

– See more at: http://azednews.com/2015/02/18/233-arizona-superintendents-ask-legislators-to-adopt-a-budget-that-does-not-cut-k-12-school-funding/#sthash.vnevNNrb.dpuf

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Category: Education, General, Programs, Resources

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