Cross-posted from RestoreReason.com.
Okay, so maybe Governor Ducey and the Legislature really are trying to solve the problem. You know, the one they, and those before them, created by pushing tax cuts, corporate welfare, and school privatization. But, it is REALLY hard to have the faith, when they throw out words like “advance-appropriated.” As in, “we can’t give you all 20 percent right now teachers, so we are going to advance-appropriate it in the next two budgets.”
I googled “advance-appropriate” and got nothing on the first page of search results. On the second page, there was a report from the New America Foundation titled, “Advance Appropriations: A Needless and Confusing Education Budget Technique.”
The New America Foundation appears to be fairly non-partisan with a vision that includes, “Equitable, accessible high-quality education and training over a lifetime”, “A society that promotes economic opportunity for all”, and “Equal representation in politics and participation in accountable governance.” Its Board of Directors includes New York Times Op-Ed Columnist David Brooks, ASU President Michael Crow, and many others from business, higher-education, and journalism.
Their report on advance appropriations referenced above, discusses the practice of this funding mechanism in Congress, and calls such a, “rarely understood budgeting approach that shifts funding into the fiscal year following the year covered by the appropriations process.” Continue reading
The Grand Canyon Institute reports that a $2 billion increase in Arizona’s annual funding of K-12 public education is needed to improve high school graduation rates, improve math and reading levels, and raise the number of Arizonans who have a 2- or 4-year degree.
“Arizona has run an austerity budget since the Great Recession,” said Dave Wells, the Institute’s research director. “Achieving the Arizona Education Progress Meter’s goals by 2030 requires new and dedicated funding source There are not sufficient funds from economic growth or potential fund sweeps or savings from other government services to meet these needs.”
The Grand Canyon Institute (GCI), an independent, nonpartisan think tank, conducted its analysis based on educational goals defined in the Arizona Education Progress Meter. The goals were established by Expect More Arizona and The Center for the Future of Arizona.
The $2.1 billion annual increase in public education funding identified by GCI’s research includes investments in:
- Early Childhood Education — $200 million to meet the needs of children under the poverty line to improve their success in school
- Teacher Salaries — $686 million to provide a $10,000 flat raise to Arizona’s teachers to address what may be the worst teacher shortage in the country and maximize the recruitment and retention of young teaching professionals
- Added Interventions—$250 million to achieve goals for third grade reaching, eighth-grade math and high school graduation
- Refilling prior state investments: $991.million:
- District Additional Assistance: $352 million
- All-day Kindergarten: $265 million
- New School Construction: $284 million
- Building Renewal Funds: $90 million
Arizona Education Progress Meter