|The Arizona Center for Economic Progress has prepared a report that provides important information about the Aggregate Expenditure Limit, and the over $1.1 billion cut to K-12 school budgets if the Arizona Legislature does not act by March 1, 2022 to override the Aggregate Expenditure Limit.|
The Arizona Center for Economic Progress said that with the Arizona Legislature beginning it’s session on Monday, one of their most urgent issues to address should be providing the necessary two-thirds vote in each chamber to exempt public schools from the state constitution’s Aggregate Expenditure spending limit to allow them to spend funds they have already received and budgeted for this school year.
Without such an exemption, Arizona’s public schools will face $1.1 billion in cuts this March.
“The spending limit is antiquated and based on what school needs were like in 1980. That is evident by the fact that Arizona is hitting the spending limit this year despite Arizona school funding being the lowest in the nation,” the Arizona Center for Economic Progress said.
“Arizona’s public schools are already struggling to deal with educating and keeping students and staff healthy and safe during the pandemic, and with one of the worst teacher shortages in the nation. Requiring public schools to reduce their budgets by as much as 17 percent with only three months remaining in their school year would be devastating for Arizona’s students,” the Arizona Center for Economic Progress said.
“Arizonans overwhelmingly support the legislature exempting public schools from the state constitution’s spending limit to prevent the $1.1 billion in cuts. In a December 2021 poll conducted by Highground and sponsored by The Arizona Center for Economic Progress and Save Our Schools Arizona, 73 percent of Arizona voters polled said they support the legislature providing an exemption to the outdated school spending limit,” the Arizona Center for Economic Progress said.