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Where Arizona students learn and what is spent on them

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  • Lisa Irish/Arizona Education News Service

ArizonaK 12StudentsHP

Arizona’s K-12 students have remained around a million for the past 10 years, and where they attend school has shifted only slightly over that time, according to the Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction’s recently released Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2013-2014.

The report provides general statistical information about the type and number of public schools in the state, how they are funded and the students who attend them.

Where Arizona students learn and what is spent on them ArizonaK-12StudentsHPIt also provides financial and statistical information for every school district and charter school in Arizona and shows differences in they spend their money.

Of the 1,041,275 million Arizona K-12 students who attended public school in 2013-14, 891,154, or 85.58 percent, went to public district schools, while 150,120, or 14.41 percent, went to charter schools.

Students are more likely to attend charter school as elementary students than high school students, and fewer high school students attend charter schools than district schools.

Of the 341,650 Arizona high school students, 297,991, or 87.22 percent, attend public district schools, while 43,660, or 12.77 percent, go to charter schools.

Where Arizona students learn and what is spent on them WhereArizonaStudentsLearnAmong the 695,449 Arizona elementary students, 588,989, or 84.69 percent, go to district schools, while 106,460, or 15.30 percent, attend charter schools.

Student overwhelmingly received their instruction on one of Arizona’s 1,924 public district and charter school campuses.

In 2013-14, about 14,178 Arizona students, or 1.36 percent, took all their classes online through a district or charter sponsored online program, up slightly from last year’s 1.35 percent.

Ninety-five percent of those digital learners take classes through online charter schools, the same amount as last year.

Where Arizona students learn and what is spent on them ArizonaEnrollmentTrendsWhile the number of students going to charter schools has slowly increased from 8.51 percent 10 years ago to 14.41 percent now, the rate of growth has slowed to 1.04 percent, down from a 10-year-high of 1.17 percent in 2009-10.

These figures, called average daily membership, represent the full-time and part-time students attending classes during the first 100 days of school. In Arizona, district and charter schools are funded according to their average daily membership.

Funding for district and charter schools differs by source, with local and state money contributing most to district schools, while state and federal traditionally provide most money for charters.

But in 2013-14 for the first time in 10 years, charter schools received more funding from local sources than federal sources.

Where Arizona students learn and what is spent on them ArizonaK12FundingSources“Charters are probably getting more income now from fees and donations,” explained Chuck Essigs, director of governmental relations for Arizona Association of School Business Officials.

State revenues come from Arizona’s general fund and are generated through sales tax, personal and corporate income taxes and state trust land revenue. Local funds are derived through the state funding formula and voter-approved bonds and overrides.

Federal money includes funds for school nutrition, Head Start, teacher and principal training, language instruction for English Language Learners, special education, vocational education, Title I funds, grants and other educational support.

In 2013-14, state revenues provided 84.42 percent, the overwhelming majority, of charter school total revenues of $1,207,181,668. Local funding accounted for 7.87 percent, federal funding for 7.83 percent and intermediate funding for 0.07 percent.

For district schools, local revenues provided 45.68 percent, the largest amount of funding of total district revenues of $8,420,633,934. State funding contributed 37.96 percent, federal funding added 13.12 percent and county funding accounted for 3.24 percent.

Further into the report are fiscal year breakdowns of 2014 current expenditures for districts and charters per Average Daily Membership that provide a more complete picture of district spending, because district numbers include all elementary, high school, unified, JTED and accommodation districts.

District schools total expenditures were $564 more per ADM than charters, or $7,493 per student for districts and $6,929 for charters. The total attending ADM for districts was 929,979,217, and for charters it was 150,120,166.

Where Arizona students learn and what is spent on them FinaleEditedAZPerStudentSpendingDoublePieChart

District schools spent $3,888 per ADM on classroom instruction, which was more than the $3,138 that charters spent. This includes all expenditures related to activities dealing directly with the interaction between teachers and students, excluding classroom supplies.

Charter schools spent $1,420 per ADM on administration, nearly twice the $774 that district schools did. This includes salaries for principals, assistant principals and other administrators, and all other expenditures pertaining to administering policy for the operation of the district or charter, business operations, and all other central support services.

Charters spent $286 per ADM on classroom supplies, more than the districts’ $162. This includes all supply and textbook expenditures related to regular and special education classroom instruction, excluding library books and supplies.

District schools spent $576 per ADM on student support services, which is significantly more than the $343 that charters did. This includes expenditures for services such as social work, guidance, health, psychological, speech, audiology and other therapies.

Districts spent $2,093 per ADM on other support services and operations, more than the $1,741 that charters spent. This includes expenditures for instructional staff support, media services, and non-instructional services such as food services, plant and maintenance support, transportation and community services operations.