Senate votes to raise aggregate expenditure limit a day after House approval - AZEdNews
Sections    Friday March 24th, 2023

Senate votes to raise aggregate expenditure limit a day after House approval

The Arizona House Of Representatives Approved HCR 2001 To Raise The Aggregate Expenditure Limit This Year In A 46-14 Vote On Feb. 7, 2023. Photo By Lisa Irish/AZEdNews

The Arizona Senate raised the aggregate expenditure limit this year for school districts by approving Rep. David Cook‘s HCR 2001 with a vote of 23 for and 7 against, a day after it was approved in the Arizona House of Representatives with a vote of 46 ayes and 14 nays.

This means schools will be able to use the money allocated to them in the bi-partisan budget approved in June.

Arizona Capitol Television: Senate Floor Session 2/8/23

Legislators actions, weeks before the March 1 deadline, avert the sharp cuts of $1.3 billion statewide – 17% of each school district’s budget.

Raising the aggregate expenditure limit with four months left in the school year avoided the possibilities of layoffs and school closures.

Senate President Warren Petersen said he supported the bill because he believes Republicans would be blamed if schools were forced to shut their doors because they could not use the money already allocated to them, KJZZ 91.5 FM reports.

It took a 2/3 majority vote in each chamber to lift the cap. 

Education advocates encourage you to thank your Legislators for their support for public schools by calling them or sending them an email.

Click here to find Arizona Senators’ contact information.

Click here to find Arizona Representatives’ contact information.

With many more bills impacting public education, Arizona students, teachers, and schools this session Arizona School Boards Association‘s Governmental Relations Team encourages all Arizonans to become public education advocates.

An education advocate uses their voice for good to help Arizona’s students, said Devin Del Palacio, ASBA Advocacy and Strategic Initiatives Consultant. There are many ways to be an advocate for the 90 percent of students who attend Arizona public schools, the key is finding what works best for you.  

You could make a phone call, send an email or set up an appointment to visit your elected state senators and representatives to share how bills they’re considering would affect your students, schools and teachers. You could ask your school leaders to invite Legislators to visit your schools where they can get answers to their questions from students and staff.  

Another way to have your voice heard is to fill out the Arizona Legislature’s Request to Speak Form so you can provide insight to House and Senate Education Committee Members as they make decisions on bills that impact your students, your families and your community schools. 

Arizona Capitol Television: House Floor Session 2/7/23

The aggregate expenditure limit for school districts was one of 10 amendments to the Arizona Constitution approved by Arizona voters in 1980. It restricts total spending of all Arizona’s public K-12 school districts to an amount that fluctuates each year based on changes in the state’s total student population and changes in inflation measured by the Gross National Product (GNP) price deflator. Charter schools, also public schools, are not included in the AEL because they did not exist in 1980.

In early September, more than 190 school superintendents sent a letter to the Arizona Legislature to thank them for the increase in public education funding and ask them to lift the aggregate expenditure limit so they could use all the money Legislators provided for them in the bi-partisan budget.