Find out how the FY20 budget stacks up against the Roadmap for P-20 Education Funding

This post was originally published here.

Budget bills have been introduced at the legislature and it appears that legislators and Governor Ducey have come to an agreement. The fiscal year 2020 budget (FY20: July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020) includes important investments in all of education – early childhood education, K-12 and postsecondary.

The budget under consideration follows through on the commitment to increase teacher pay 20 percent by 2020 and accelerates the restoration of district and charter additional assistance this year. Additional new investments in K-12 will support the hiring of school counselors, social workers and school resource officers; increased career and technical education opportunities; K-12 school construction and more. In addition, the proposal includes one-time and ongoing investments for Arizona’s universities and community colleges.

The proposal does include a compromise on tax conformity – the changes the state could make to Arizona’s tax code in order to capture some of the revenues forgone by the federal government when they changed the federal tax code in 2017. As structured, potential revenues from tax conformity are being left on the table. But we also recognize that even those dollars wouldn’t adequately fund the investment priorities outlined in the Roadmap for P-20 Education Funding to reach the Arizona Education Progress Meter goals.

With investments in all levels of education – early childhood, K-12 and postsecondary – the FY20 budget moves us forward. But we have much more to do. While targeted fixes and one-time expenditures serve demonstrated needs, they won’t get us where we need to be in the long-term. Leaders should quickly pivot to the hard work of identifying a new mix of sources to thoughtfully increase state revenue to support a long-term funding solution for all of education in Arizona, while maintaining a healthy business climate.

Here are the highlights of the budget proposal being considered.

NOTE: These highlights are based on the proposal introduced May 22. We will update the blog as additional information becomes available, and as any amendments are made. Budget investments marked with an asterisk (*) impact the priorities outlined in the Roadmap for P-20 Education Funding.


Child Care Subsidies* – Last year’s federal budget increased funding to the Child Care Development Block Grant. Arizona’s share was $56 million, but the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) could not spend those dollars because the state’s budget did not include an expenditure authority to do so. The proposed budget does include the $56 million.


Teacher Pay Raises* – Last year’s budget committed to a 20 percent pay raise over three years, which included advance appropriations for fiscal years 2020 and 2021. The proposal follows through on this commitment and the FY20 budget proposal includes a teacher pay raise of 5 percent ($165 million). The increase will again be added to the base per pupil funding and therefore protected for the future and subject to annual inflation adjustments. As was the case this past year, school district and charter governing boards will define who will receive raises, which means that teachers may receive different amounts.

District and Charter Additional Assistance* – Last year’s budget committed to the full restoration in district and charter additional assistance (DAA/CAA) over five years, beginning last year with a $100 million allocation. That $100 million stays in the base funding formula and this year’s budget proposal includes an additional $136 million this year to accelerate DAA/CAA repayment. Full restoration will be completed with two additional payments of $68M each in FY22 and FY23. This funding restoration has the potential to free up dollars for school districts to support other priorities.

Career and Technical Education (CTE) – CTE programs enjoy broad support from educators, parents and business leaders because they help students receive real-world training and prepare them for jobs. The proposal includes $10 million over FY21 and FY22 in one-time funding to strengthen CTE by providing up to a $1,000 incentive payment to schools for each high school graduate who earns an approved industry certification. For now, priority will be placed on schools that offer programming in Manufacturing, Business and Financial Services, Health Care and Construction.

School Safety Grant Program* – The budget proposal includes $15 million in FY20 for a grant program to fund school counselors, social workers and school resource officers. This ongoing funding can be used to help address Arizona’s current ratio of students to counselors is 905:1 and the recommended ratio is 250:1.

Results-Based Funding – $30 million to expand results-based funding, which awards Arizona’s highest performing schools based on the state’s assessment (AzMERIT). In the future, the program will be based on the state’s A-F letter grade system. The program will be applied as follows:

  • $400 per pupil for schools with AzMERIT test results in the top 13% that have 60 percent or greater free and reduced price lunch status or alternative schools with an A rating
  • $225 per pupil for schools with AzMERIT test results in the top 13-27% that have 60 percent or greater free and reduced price lunch status
  • $225 per pupil for Schools with AzMERIT test results in the top 13% that have less than 60 percent free and reduced price lunch status

Additional conversations are needed about opportunities to continue to reform the state’s letter grade system in order to reward both growth and proficiency and help address the opportunity gaps that impact student achievement gaps.

Funding for Charter School Transparency, Accountability and Oversight – The Governor’s budget proposal includes $800,000 in ongoing funding for the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools to hire additional staff for charter school oversight.

School Building Improvements and New School Construction* – A total of $87.8 million is available for building renewal. This includes $62.8 million in new funding for FY20 and $25 million in supplemental funding for FY19. A total of $75.9 million is available for school construction in FY20. We will provide more information about what districts may be impacted as it becomes available.

Other K-12 Highlights –$1.2 million is available for a High Quality Teacher Pilot Program that can provide up to $2,000 per STEM teachers seeking additional credentials, extended through FY25. $800,000 is included for community schools.  $30 million in FY22 to reduce the K-12 rollover for small schools that have less than 1350 students.


Teacher Recruitment* – $15 million to expand the Arizona Teacher’s Academy. Scholarships are available to students in the state’s teacher preparation programs. Up to $5,000 per university student and up to $3,000 per community college student will be awarded after all other gift aid is received.

Tuition Reimbursement – $1 million in ongoing funds for the Department of Military Affairs’ National Guard tuition reimbursement program.

Investments in Community Colleges – The budget calls for $15 million in one-time funds to expand the capacity of the Aviation Technology Center at Pima Community College to meet the growing workforce demands of the aerospace industry in Southern Arizona. It also includes $5.8 million in one-time funding to expand student capacity at Maricopa County Community College District’s healthcare professional training facility. There is $14.2 million in one-time funding for eight rural community colleges; $6 million over three years to Maricopa and Pima Community Colleges to include each back in STEM formula funding through FY22; $1 million in permanent funding for Diné College, a four-year college serving the Navajo Nation; and $750,000 in one-time funds for a fire training center at Northland Pioneer College through the Department of Forestry.

Investments in Arizona’s Public Universities – The budget proposal includes $35 million in one-time funding to support the universities, including $18.9 million for ASU, $9.4 million for the UofA, and $6.7 million for NAU.  The budget includes about $3.5 million in ongoing investments, including $160,000 for an adaptive athletic program at the UofA; $300,000 for university internships in Washington, D.C.; and $3 million to continue biomedical research funding support to TGEN.


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