Return on Education: What Does the State Land Trust Mean for AZ Schools?

| August 31, 2015

Children’s Action Alliance: 

Return on Education: What Does the State Land Trust Mean for AZ Schools?

Questions and options about financing K-12 public schools take center stage for Arizona families and employers as the lawsuit over inflation funding continues, the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the State Board of Education tangle over helping schools achieve third grade reading goals, and students across the state begin this new school year with crowded classrooms, teacher shortages, and outdated textbooks and technology.

Today Children’s Action Alliance begins a series of issue briefs to highlight challenges and options in K-12 funding.  Our first Return on Education brieffocuses on Governor Ducey’s proposal to take a loan from our future by temporarily increasing the amount of funds distributed from the State Land Trust to school budgets.

It is notable that Governor Ducey and legislative leaders from both parties now agree that Arizona schools need increased funding.  So far, the “plans” announced by the Governor and by Senate President Biggs and House Speaker Gowan lack any specifics or detail.  But neither proposal by itself sets Arizona up for success in achieving our educational goals.  Arizonans expect K-12 funding plans that achieve three critical objectives:  1) Adjust annual school budgets to fully reflect rising costs as voters required; 2) Create a long term plan with sustainable funding to match resources with expectations; and 3) Restore investments in our schools today.

At the same time we have been raising expectations for students, teachers and schools we have cut more than $1.1 billion from annual school budgets.  We ask our legislators and Governor Ducey to make better budget decisions to fuel third grade reading success, up-to-date textbooks and technology, safe facilities, and exceptional, experienced teachers.

To find out how State Land Trust revenues work for schools click HERE.


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