The amount of local funding as a percentage of total funding for schools in Arizona has been increasing steadily for the past 22 years and is higher than the national average.
The portion of Arizona’s per pupil revenue from local sources grew from $2,391 in 1992 to $4,246 in 2014, or 77.58 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Yet, the state’s portion of funding for Arizona students increased just 61.60 percent from $2,086 in 1992 to $3,371 in 2014. Meanwhile, money for Arizona students from federal sources grew from $453 in 1992 to $1,168 in 2014, or 157 percent.
Arizona’s funding was following the upward national trend of increases in state funding until 2008 when the Arizona Legislature cut education revenues in response to the Great Recession’s impact on Arizona’s economy.
When the recession hit, the Arizona economy dropped 10 percent over three years – 2008, 2009, 2010 – but the revenue coming into the state general fund dropped by a third before it started coming back ever so slowly, said Ken Bennett, who served as Secretary of State from 2009 to 2014 and was a legislator from 1999 to 2007 during an Arizona Business & Education Coalition conference last year.
In 2014, Arizona’s total per-pupil revenue of $8,786 was about 68.8 percent of the U.S. average of $12,774, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Public Education Finances: 2014, which was released in June 2016. That means Arizona has about $2,071 less per pupil revenue in 2014 than it did in 1992, when total per pupil revenue was $10,857.
Infographic by Lisa Irish/AZEdNews
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