Predicting the aggregate expenditure limit for next year  - AZEdNews
Sections    Friday March 24th, 2023

Predicting the aggregate expenditure limit for next year 

Arizona Legislators Discuss The Aggregate Expenditure Limit And Vote On A Bill To Lift It For This School Year At The Arizona House Of Representatives At The Capitol In Phoenix. Photo By Lisa Irish/ AZEdNews

What does the forecast for the aggregate expenditure limit look like for next school year?  

<strong>Predicting the aggregate expenditure limit for next year</strong>  Chris-Kotterman
Chris Kotterman

The aggregate expenditure limit will continue to be an issue for school districts even if the Legislature doesn’t put a single additional dollar into school funding this year, said Chris Kotterman, director of governmental relations for Arizona School Boards Association.

“For the first time in many years, K-12 funding increases over the past five years have exceeded inflation every year. In addition, sales tax collections dedicated for teacher pay now count against the limit. These two things caused us to finally catch back up to the limit after many years of not even coming close,” Kotterman said.  

Using the 0.3% increase in student count for school districts this school year and an estimated 7% inflation in calendar year 2022, Arizona Association of School Business Officials Governmental Relations Director Dr. Chuck Essigs, says he calculates the aggregate expenditure limit for next school year would be $6,869,545,627, which would be $467,210,261 more than the AEL this school year of $6,402,335,366.  

Since we were over the aggregate expenditure limit by $1.3 billion this school year, even with no increase in school district budgets for next year, we would be over the AEL for next year by over $900,000 million and with scheduled funding increases school districts will be well over the limit for next year, Dr. Essigs said.

<strong>Predicting the aggregate expenditure limit for next year</strong>  Chuck-Essigs-portrait
Dr. Chuck Essigs

The Economic Estimates Commission is required to calculate and publish the AEL for next year prior to May 1, 2023.  

“The question now that we are bumping up against the limit is whether the AEL represents a funding level that is adequate to serve the needs of students across the state. I think it’s safe to say that parents, students, teachers, and staff would agree that it’s not,” Kotterman said. 

“Spending above the AEL means that you’re finally spending above the inflation-adjusted level of 1980. It doesn’t mean that you’ve achieved fully-funded schools. And too many folks seem to think that’s what it means,” Kotterman said. 

It’s important that all Arizonans become education advocates to share with Legislators and other policy makers what Arizona public schools are doing well, what they could use help with, and why it’s critically important to provide adequate funding for Arizona’s public schools. 

The countdown to the deadline to raise the aggregate expenditure limit in 2024  has begun, so find ways that work for you to advocate for Arizona’s students, take action, and join Arizona School Boards Association as it explores sustainable, long-term solutions and voices support for friends of education at the Arizona Legislature. 

Please sign up to become an ASBA advocate. 

  1. Text JOINASBA to 52886
  2. You will receive a text message with a link to join our advocacy efforts. Click it!
  3. Enter your information, including your home address to link you with your elected officials (ASBA will never share or sell your information)
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  5. Share with your friends and family who also want to help district schools! Anyone can join at any time.