education funding

The Arizona Republic

Funds from the education spending initiative, Proposition 123, began flowing to state school districts last week. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, pay raises have taken effect for many teachers and staff members.


Arizona voters head to the polls tomorrow to decide on an Education Finance Amendment, Proposition 123. It would settle a lawsuit brought against the state by public schools for failure to increase K-through-12 funding based on inflation during the recession. It would also give a $3.5-billion-dollar cash injection to public schools over the next 10 years. More than 60 percent of that money would come from the State Land Trust, given to Arizona upon statehood in 1912 as a means to generate revenue for schools. Opponents of Prop 123 say the settlement jeopardizes the land trust and should be paid entirely out of the state’s general fund. Supporters believe it’s an immediate opportunity to pump money into K-through-12 education. Both sides admit it’s a short term plan to the issue of school funding. KNAU reached out to voices on both sides of Prop 123. Morgan Abraham, a Tucson investment advisor and the chairman of the No on Prop 123 campaign, spoke with Arizona Public Radio’s Gillian Ferris. Flagstaff City Councilman, Jeff Oravits supports the amendment and spoke with Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius. 


Mark Henle/The Republic

The Arizona Legislature has passed a $9.6 billion budget after a week spent wrangling over additional funding for K-12 schools that wasn't included in the initial agreement.

Lawmakers debated until nearly 2 a.m. Wednesday morning before approving a spending package for the state budget year beginning July 1 that included a small increase in funding for several school line items.

A tentative agreement between Republican Senate and House leaders and Gov. Doug Ducey boosts spending in the coming budget year about $100 million above what Ducey wanted.

Senate Majority Leader Steve Yarbrough says the bottom line budget plan includes $9.58 billion in spending, and includes extra cash for universities, K-12 schools and county and city roadbuilding. The plan also includes the end to some budget-balancing gimmicks dating to the Great Recession for universities and social service and child safety agencies.

Northern Arizona University

The Arizona Board of Regents has approved tuition and fee increases at all three public universities for the 2016-2017 school year. It comes as state higher education continues to grapple with last year’s steep budget cuts. Arizona Public Radio’s Justin Regan reports.


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