education funding

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.


Felicia Fonseca, AP

Dozens of people gathered in a small Navajo Nation community Tuesday to encourage the tribe's education department to take over a school in financial ruin.

Nearly one-third of the employees at Leupp Schools Inc. will lose their jobs Friday as part of a reorganization plan.

Tribal officials say the school system has been financially unstable for years, paying out too much in salaries while enrollment declines, posting a deficit of almost $2 million last year, and garnering the attention of the Internal Revenue Service by failing to pay more than $100,000 in employee taxes.

A.E. Araiza / Arizona Daily Star 2013

Arizona lawmakers delivered a big win for the state’s vocational high schools, known as joint technical education districts. The governor signed a deal late Wednesday, giving back nearly all of the money that was cut from the programs last year. Arizona Public Radio’s Aaron Granillo reports.


Jon Austria/The Daily Times

Arizona voters will go to the polls this spring to decide on Proposition 123. It settles a long-running lawsuit over school funding in the state, and the Navajo Nation Council has announced its unanimous support of the measure. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.


Officials working on the Proposition 123 campaign, the agreement to settle a long-running K-12 funding lawsuit, say they expect millions in contributions supporting the effort.

The Arizona Capitol Times reports that campaign manager J.P. Twist says $4 million is a reasonable target for fundraising efforts.

Many are looking at state Treasurer Jeff DeWit to head the opposition. A DeWit spokesman says the treasurer has no immediate plans to take part in a campaign against Proposition 123.

The Arizona House has passed a package of bills that will pump $3.5 billion into K-12 education and settle a five-year-old lawsuit filed by schools that didn't receive required inflation boosts during the Great Recession.

Thursday night's action sends the package of bills to the Senate. It came without any Democratic votes on two of the bills, but with unanimous support for the third bill in the Republican-controlled House. That legislation actually appropriates the money.

Michael Schennum/The Republic

Republican state Treasurer Jeff DeWit is urging Arizona lawmakers to revise a deal that would settle a school funding lawsuit.

DeWit said in an email to lawmakers Tuesday evening that the agreement hammered out between Republican lawmakers, schools and Gov. Doug Ducey puts the principal of the state's permanent land trust at risk. If it is adopted without changes he warns it will be tied up in court for years and keep schools from getting additional cash.

The Arizona Republic

Republican members of the Arizona House mostly appear supportive of a proposed settlement to a long-running school funding lawsuit, but some are asking tough questions.

Many members briefed Tuesday by GOP leaders and attorneys who represented the state say they'll be happy to see schools get increased funding and to get the five-year-old lawsuit behind them. Others say they need to see the actual language in legislation before they agree to vote yes.

A tentative deal that settles a lawsuit brought by schools over the Arizona Legislature's failure to give annual inflation boosts will add about $3.5 billion in new funding over the next 10 years.

The proposed settlement includes a new cash payment of $175 million to schools this budget year on top of $74 million in inflation funding the Legislature appropriated this year. Together that adds about $330 per student to the current $4,300 schools receive.

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