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233 Arizona superintendents ask legislators to not cut K-12 school funding

Two hundred thirty three Arizona school district superintendents, who are members of Arizona Association of School Administrators, sent a letter to Arizona Legislators. The letter, below, 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.

233 Arizona superintendents ask legislators to not cut K-12 school funding ClassroomCutsHPThe 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 affect 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.

Arizona Dept of Education Dr. Jennifer Johnson
Maricopa Unified District Dr. Steve Chestnut
Agua Fria Union High School District Dr. Dennis Runyan
Mayer Unified District Mr. Dean Slaga
Aguila Elementary District Mr. Donald German
McNary Elementary District Ms. Mary Ann Wade
Ajo Unified Dr. Robert Dooley
McNeal Elementary District Mrs. Teresa Reyna
Alhambra Elementary Dr. Karen Williams
Mesa Unified District Dr. Michael Cowan
Alpine Elementary District Ms. Shirley Brazel
Miami Unified District Dr. Sherry Dorathy
Altar Valley Elementary District Dr. David Dumon
Mingus Union High School District Dr. Paul Tighe
Amphitheater Unified District Mr. Patrick Nelson
Mobile Elementary District Dr. Kit Wood
Antelope Union High School District Dr. Andrew Smith
Mohave County Schools Mr. Michael File
Apache County Schools Mr. Barry Williams
Mohave Valley Elementary District Mr. Whitney Crow
Apache Elementary District Ms. Palma Hudson
Mohawk Valley Elementary District Ms. Shanna Johnson
Apache Junction Unified District Mr. Chad Wilson
Morenci Unified District Dr. David Woodall
Arlington Elementary District Mr. Chad Turner
Morristown Elementary District Ms. Mary Love
Ash Creek Elementary District Ms. Sue Shepard
Mountain Institute JTED Mr. Jeramy Plumb
Ash Fork Joint Unified District Mr. Seth Staples
Murphy Elementary District Ms. Lenora Jenkins
Avondale Elementary District Dr. Betsy Hargrove
Naco Elementary District Mr. Juan Franco
AZ School for Deaf/Blind Mr. Marv Lamer
Nadaburg Unified District Mr. Ben Goodman
Bagdad Unified District Mr. Bryan Bullington
NATIVE Mrs. Ronlye Tsosie
Balsz Elementary District Dr. Jeff Smith
Navajo County Schools Ms. Linda Morrow
Beaver Creek Elementary District Ms. Karin Ward
NAVIT Mr. Matthew Weber
Benson Unified District Mr. Micah Mortensen
Nogales Unified District Mr. Fernando Parra
Bicentennial Union High S. D. Mr. Byron Maynes
Oracle Elementary District Mr. Dennis Blauser
Bisbee Unified District Mr. Jim Phillips
Osborn Elementary District Dr. Patty Tate
Blackwater Community School Ms. Jacquelyn Power
Owens Elementary District Ms. Susan Burdsal
Blue Elementary District Ms. Sally Hulsey
Page Unified District Mr. Jim Walker
Blue Ridge Unified District Mr. Michael Wright
Palo Verde Elementary District Mr. Robert Aldridge
Bonita Elementary District Mr. Ed Houser
Paloma Elementary District Ms. Clara Vinzant
Bouse Elementary District Mr. Steven Petoskey
Palominas Elementary District Mrs. Marylotti Copeland
Bowie Unified District Mr. Roger Studley
Paradise Valley Unified District Dr. James Lee
Buckeye Elementary District Dr. Kristi Sandvik
Parker Unified District Mr. James Lotts
Buckeye Union High School District Mr. Eric Godfrey
Patagonia Unified District Ms. Denise Blake
Bullhead City Elementary District Mr. Benjie Hookstra
Payson Unified District Dr. Greg Wyman
Camp Verde Unified District Dr. Amber Marchant-Lee
Peach Springs Unified District Dr. Anthony Perkins
Canon Elementary District Ms. Angela Jangula
Pearce Elementary District Mr. Kyle Hart
Cartwright Elementary District Dr. Jacob Chavez
Pendergast Elementary District Dr. Lily DeBlieux
Casa Grande Elementary District Dr. Frank Davidson
Peoria Unified District Dr. Denton Santarelli
Casa Grande Union High S. D. Dr. Shannon Goodsell
Phoenix Elementary District Dr. Myriam Roa
Catalina Foothills Unified District Dr. Mary Kamerzell
Phoenix Union High School District Dr. Kent Scribner
Cave Creek Unified District Dr. Debbi Burdick
Picacho Elementary District Mr. Allen Rogers
CAVIT Mr. Mike Glover
Pima County JTED Dr. Alan Storm
Cedar Unified District Dr. Kim Randall
Pima County Schools Dr. Linda Arzoumanian
Chandler Unified District Dr. Camille Casteel
Pima Unified District Mr. Sean Rickert
Chinle Unified District Mr. Quincy Natay
Pinal County Schools Ms. Jill Broussard
Chino Valley Unified Mr. Duane Howard
Pine-Strawberry Elementary District Mr. Cody Barlow
Clarkdale-Jerome Elementary District Mrs. Kathleen Fleenor
Pinon Unified District Mr. Douglas Vaughan
Cobra Valley Institute of Technology Mr. Pete Guzman
Point Schools Mrs. Jody Johnson
Cochise County Schools Mrs. Trudy Berry
Pomerene Elementary District Mr. Shad Housley
Cochise Elementary District Mr. Stephen Webb
Prescott Unified District Mr. David Smucker
Cochise Technology District Mr. Joel Todd
Quartzsite Elementary District Ms. Raquel Burton
Coconino Association of Vocations Mr. Brent Neilson
Queen Creek Unified District Dr. Perry Berry
Coconino County Schools Ms. Risha VanderWey
Ray Unified District Dr. Robert Dunn
Colorado City Unified District Ms. Carol Timpson
Red Mesa Unified District Dr. Tommy Yazzie
Colorado River Union High S. D. Mr. Riley Frei
Riverside Elementary District Dr. Jaime Rivera
Concho Elementary District Mr. Leon Buttler
Roosevelt Elementary District Dr. Jacqueline Jackson
Congress Elementary District Dr. Stephanie Miller
Round Valley Unified District Mr. Travis Udall
Continental Elementary District Dr. Virginia Juettner
Sacaton Elementary District Dr. Jim Christensen
Coolidge Unified District Ms. Charie Wallace
Saddle Mountain Unified District Dr. Mark Joraanstad
Cottonwood-Oak Creek Elem. Dist Ms. Barbara U’ren
Safford Unified District Dr. Mark Tregaskes
Crane Elementary District Mr. Robert Klee
Sahuarita Unified District Dr. Manuel Valenzuela
Creighton Elementary District Ms. Charlotte Boyle
Salome Elementary District Mr. George Dean
Crown King Elementary District Ms. Virginia Williamson
San Carlos Unified District Ms. Catherine Steele
Deer Valley Unified District Dr. James Veitenheimer
San Fernando Elementary District Ms. Tracy Murtadza
Double Adobe Elementary District Ms. Tammi Wilson
San Simon Unified District Mr. Johathan Truschke
Douglas Unified District Ms. Sheila Rogers
Sanders Unified District Mr. Mike Murphy
Duncan Unified District Mr. Eldon Merrell
Santa Cruz County Schools Mr. Alfredo Velasquez
Dysart Unified District Dr. Gail Pletnick
Santa Cruz Elementary District Mr. James Cruice
Elfrida Elementary District Ms. Vicki Brand
Santa Cruz Valley Unified District Mr. Dave Verdugo
Eloy Elementary District Ms. Ruby James
Santa Cruz Valley Union High S. D. Ms. Orlinda Roberts
EVIT Dr. Sally Downey
Scottsdale Unified District Dr. David Peterson
Flagstaff Unified Ms. Barbara Hickman
Sedona-Oak Creek Unified District Mr. David Lykins
Florence Unified District Dr. Amy Fuller
Seligman Unified District Ms. Diane Pritchett
Flowing Wells Unified District Dr. David Baker
Sentinel Elementary District Mr. Christopher Maynes
Fountain Hills Unified District Mr. Tom Lawrence
Shonto Preparatory School Mr. Lemual Adson
Fredonia-Mocassin Unified District Mr. Joe Wright
Show Low Unified District Mr. Kevin Brackney
Ft Huachua Accommodation District Ms. Bonnie Austin
Sierra Vista Unified District Mrs. Kriss Hagerl
Ft Thomas Unified District Mr. Shane Hawkins
Skull Valley Elementary District Mr. Michael McCrady
Gadsden Elementary District Dr. Ray Aguilera
Snowflake Unified District Mr. Hollis Merrell
Ganado Unified District Mr. William Allsbrooks
Solomon Elementary District Mr. Kevin England
Gila Bend Unified District Ms. Lynette Michalski
Somerton Elementary District Dr. Laura Noel
Gila County Schools Dr. Linda O’Dell
Sonoita Elementary District Dr. Christopher Bonn
Gila Institute of Technology Mr. Troy Thygerson
St David Unified District Mr. Mark Goodman
Gilbert Unified District Dr. Christina Kishimoto
St Johns Unified District Mr. Ed Burgoyne
Glendale Elementary District Mr. Joseph Quintana
Stanfield Elementary District Dr. Melissa Sadorf
Glendale Union High School District Dr. Eugene Dudo
Sunnyside Unified District Dr. Eugenia Favela
Globe Unified District Mr. Jerry Jennex
Superior Unified District Mr. Patrick O’Donnell
Graham County Schools Ms. Lisa James
Tanque Verde Unified District Mr. Doug Price
Grand Canyon Unified Ms. Rochonne Bria
Tempe Elementary District Ms. Christine Busch
Greenlee County Schools Mr. Tom Powers
Tempe Union High School District Dr. Kenneth Baca
Hackberry Elementary District Mr. Steve Hite
Thatcher Unified District Mr. Paul Nelson
Hayden/Winkelman Unified District Mr. Jeff Gregorich
Tolleson Elementary District Dr. Lupita Hightower
Heber-Overgaard Unified District Mr. Ken VanWinkle
Tolleson Union High School District Dr. Lexi Cunningham
Higley Unified District Dr. Denise Birdwell
Toltec Elementary District Dr. Bryan McCleney
Hillside Elementary District Ms. Carmita Deganahl
Tombstone Unified District Mr. Karl Uterhardt
Holbrook Unified District Dr. Robbie Koerperich
Tonto Basin Elementary District Mr. Keith Greer
Hopi Jr/Sr High School Dr. Greg Sackos
Topock Elementary District Mr. John Warren
Humboldt Unified District Dr. Paul Stanton
Tuba City Unified District Dr. Harold Begay
Hyder Elementary District Mr. Pat Koury
Tucson Unified District Dr. HT Sanchez
Indian Oasis Baboquivari Unified Dist Ms. Edna Morris
Union Elementary District Dr. Jim Rice
Isaac Elementary District Dr. Mario Ventura
VACTE Ms. Lois Lamer
J O Combs Unified District Dr. Gayle Blanchard
Vail Unified District Mr. Calvin Baker
Joseph City Unified Distric Mr. Bryan Fields
Valentine Elementary District Mr. Don Nelson
Kayenta Unified District Mr. Harry Martin
Valley Union High School District Mr. Ron Aguallo
Kingman Unified District Mr. Roger Jacks
Vernon Elementary District Mr. Duane Noggle
Kirkland Elementary District Mrs. Michelle Perey
Washington Elementary District Dr. Susie Cook
Kyrene Elementary District Dr. David Schauer
WAVE JTED Ms. Betsy Parker
La Paz County Schools Ms. Jackie Price
Wellton Elementary District Ms. Lisa Jameson
Lake Havasu Unified Ms. Gail Malay
Western Maricopa Education Center Mr. Greg Donovan
Laveen Elementary District Dr. Bill Johnson
Whiteriver Unified District Mr. Jeff Fuller
Liberty Elementary District Dr. Andy Rogers
Wickenburg Unified District Dr. Howard Carlson
Litchfield Elementary District Dr. Julianne Lein
Williams Unified District Mrs. Rachel Savage
Littlefield Elementary District Mr. Mark Coleman
Wilson Elementary District Mr. Antonio Sanchez
Littleton Elementary District Dr. Roger Freeman
Winslow Unified District Mr. Lance Heister
Madison Elementary District Dr. Quinn Kellis
Yarnell Elementary District Mr. Fred Garnett
Maine Elementary District Mr. Mark Williams
Yavapai Accommodation District Dr. Kristen Rex
Mammoth-San Manuel Unified District Mr. John Ryan
Yavapai County Schools Mr. Tim Carter
Marana Unified District Dr. Doug Wilson
Young Elementary District Ms. Linda Cheney
Maricopa County Regional Schools Mr. Ernest Rose
Yuma County Schools Mr. Tom Tyree
Maricopa County Schools Dr. Don Covey
Yuma Elementary District Mr. Darwin Stiffler