Here’s a look at how Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s budget released this afternoon would affect education in Arizona and some public education advocates’ responses to it.
Details of Ducey’s budget can be viewed at azgovernor.gov/budget and through the links below.
Links to The Executive Budget:
“Even though this budget is for Fiscal Year 2017 part of the budget deals with changes for the current year (FY2016),” said Chuck Essigs, executive director of Arizona Association of School Business Officials.
The budget includes dollars for this year based upon provisions contained in Prop. 123 which is up for election on May 17th, Essigs said.
“If Prop. 123 passes, the FY2016 base level without teacher compensation increases to $3,600 and with teacher comp goes to $3,645,” Essigs said. “The proposed budget addresses this increase.”
For FY2017 with the passage of Prop. 123 the proposed budget has a 1.04 percent inflation increase, which would make the base level without teacher compensation increase to $3,637.44 and with teacher comp go to $3,682.91, Essigs said.
Expect More Arizona released a statement soon after the budget’s release.
“Following significant cuts in Fiscal Year 2016, Arizona’s universities will recover some funding in FY 2017, which is a positive step forward, as is the Governor’s support for their resident tuition model. Over time, we hope to see continued reinvestment in the universities and more movement toward funding 50 percent of in-state resident tuition,” said Expect More Arizona.
Janice Palmer, director of governmental relations and public affairs for Arizona School Boards Association, said the budget will impact the K-12 education for Fiscal Year 2016 in the following ways.
- Assumes the passage of Prop. 123, resetting the base per pupil level to $3600 (this will be the base that the Fiscal Year 2017 base is based upon.
- ~$31 million for Building Renewal Grants — $15 million additional in building renewal grant funds, augmenting the current ~$16 million)
- $200,000 to the State Board of Education for academic standard setting to assist with validity and longevity in the review of the standards
The additional $15 million for both FY2016 and FY2017 for the School Facilities Board to use for the grant-based Building Renewal Grant Program would provide additional money to approve more grants, Essigs said.
Proposed investments in the School Facilities Board in both FY2016 and FY2017 will have an immediate positive impact, because capital funding to improve aging buildings is greatly needed and will help our schools provide safe and healthy learning environments for students, Expect More Arizona noted.
The proposed budget also includes $10 million annually($30 million total) for FY2017, FY2018, and FY2019 for a competitive grant program for Career and Technical Education grants to produce graduates in high demand employment sectors.
While Career and Technical Education is addressed in the budget, Expect More Arizona said it believes more needs to be done to ensure programs can continue at the same levels they are today. CTE is a proven strategy for increasing high school graduation rates and engaging disconnected youth. Ninety-eight percent of CTE concentrators graduate high school, versus 76% of all students. We hope conversations continue among legislators about full restoration of CTE funding in FY17 to avoid the looming $30 million cut that will decimate many CTE programs.
Palmer noted that in Fiscal 2017, the governor’s budget would include:
- A net addition of $46.5 million for increased student growth (assumed at 1.55%), inflation (assumed at 1.04%) and previously enacted policy changes ($30 million CTE/JTED cut, $40 million current year funding cut, charter small school weight cut, and district-sponsored charter school cut). This would set the per pupil amount at $3637.44.
- A continuation of the ~$31 million for Building Renewal Grants
A Public School Credit Enhancement Program (will use the Achievement Funds of $23.9 million that were appropriated in FY16) – available to high performing schools, for new school construction or refinancing of current debt, at a lower rate
- And $46.9 million in New Initiatives:
- Governor’s Office of Education:
- $10 million, each year for 3 years ($30 million total over 3 years) for competitive grants to school districts, charters, JTEDS, or any combination. There will be required performance measures and goals and will be focused primarily on industry certificates in high need employment areas. There must be a collaboration with industry, including in-kind contributions, and a transition plan to self-sustain.
- $6 million pilot program to incentivize and reward schools offering AP, IB, and Cambridge courses. There will be four areas: 1) Reward schools that offer AP courses and students receive a 3, 4, or 5; 2) Reward schools that grow AP courses offered and increase those receiving 3, 4, or 5; 3) Incentivize low-socioeconomic schools that offer AP courses, but students do not receive 3, 4, or 5; 4) Incentivize low-socioeconomic schools that don’t offer AP courses, but provide the seed monies needed to train teachers in these course offerings.
- $100,000 for an Executive Leadership Academy that will be through a competitive grant program.
- Arizona Department of Education:
- $7.3 million to finalize the data system (this includes $6 million in General Fund monies and $1.3 million additional in General Fund monies, rather than those resources being garnered from a fee on postsecondary institutions)
- $3.2 million for on-going maintenance of the new student data system, tests, and test security.
- Governor’s Office of Education:
Also, the proposed budget includes a new $6 million pilot program to incentivize college preparation programs such as Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and the Advanced International Certificate of Education, Essigs noted.
“We must all continue to work together to fund a long-term sustainable solution to give every Arizona student access to a quality education, from the early years through career. Improving Arizona’s education system will have a tremendous positive impact on our students and our state.”