Arizona Governor Proposes Plan to Increase Investment in K-12 Education

Author: Helios Education Foundation

July 10, 2015

Governor Ducey recently announced a major initiative to increase funding for K-12 education throughout the state. The Governor is proposing a ballot measure which, if approved by voters, would direct additional money from the state land trust to education.

  Currently, funding from state trust land investments are put into public education for classroom use through the Classroom Site Fund. The proposal would tap into the investment income that has been generated over the years as a result of investing proceeds from grazing rights, leases for natural resource uses and commercial development purposes. Right now the state’s land trust stands at a record high of $5.1 billion.

Governor Ducey is proposing that the percent of funding invested in education from the state land trust increase from 2.5 percent to 10 percent each year for five years, generating an estimated $1.8 billion in new money for schools. In the subsequent five years, the 10 percent allocation would decrease to 5 percent, then revert back to the current 2.5 percent level.

According to the Governor’s Office, the increased investment would mean and additional $325 million a year in new dollars to schools. This will likely increase Arizona’s per pupil funding by about $300 per student. Ultimately, it will be up to the voters to approve this as lawmakers must refer this to the ballot. The Governor is aiming for the November, 2016 election.

“Helios Education Foundation is pleased that Governor Ducey has acknowledged the lack of funding in Arizona’s education system and the dire need to invest in that system,” said Paul J. Luna, President and CEO, Helios Education Foundation. “It is time that Arizona view education as an investment and not an expense. We look forward to hearing the details of the Governor’s proposed referendum and in addition, we encourage the Governor to address the significant gaps in access to high quality early childhood education and the gaps in state funding for our community colleges and universities.”

Category: Education Issues

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