PHOENIX, AZ, Jan. 15, 2018 – Greater Phoenix Leadership (GPL), Southern Arizona Leadership Council (SALC), and Northern Arizona Leadership Alliance (NALA) have been involved in reviewing education funding alternatives and have joined with others in identifying the need for a statewide plan to address our P-20 educational system needs, addressing funding, accountability and reform.
In Monday’s State of the State address, Gov. Doug Ducey committed to accelerate state investment in our schools. On Tuesday he introduced a plan to restore funding to our schools after years of Recession-era cuts. As leaders of Arizona’s premier CEO business associations, we stand in full support of Gov. Ducey’s plan and commit to work alongside him and the State Legislature to make these and other funding priorities a reality.
The full restoration of $371 million in District Additional Assistance and Charter Additional Assistance is a welcome step toward restoring school funding formulas that experienced deep cuts during the great recession. The re-investment of permanent and flexible dollars beginning next school year will enable schools to direct more resources to teacher salaries. Additionally, an enhanced investment for building maintenance will free up even more classroom revenue previously redirected for capital expenses.
We commend Gov. Ducey for honoring his commitment to increase state investment in K-12 education and for managing the K-12 funding challenges facing our state. The FY 2019 Executive Education Budget proposal builds a solid foundation of funding with the infusion of $400 million in additional resources for K-12 education. The plan directs new resources to respond to student growth, building renewal, teacher salaries, early literacy, computer science, and Career and Technical Education—all areas worthy of increased investment that are contributing to positive outcomes for Arizona students.
GPL, SALC and NALA also remain committed to renewing the existing Proposition 301 education funding stream, which terminates in 2021, and to adding more funding focused on areas of priority into our educational system in Arizona.
We appreciate the Governor’s leadership in recognizing that our needs are great and taking decisive action to direct new resources to where they can be most effective. As Arizona’s education system continues to make strides, our business and economic prospects grow and produce a better quality of life for all Arizonans.
We look forward to supporting the items outlined in Gov. Ducey’s education budget and working with legislators and other stakeholders to put his plan into action.