Teacher Pay Raises – Last year the Governor committed to a 20 percent pay raise over three years, which included advance appropriations for fiscal years 2020 and 2021. The Governor followed through on this commitment and the FY20 budget proposal includes a teacher pay raise of 5 percent. 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, Governor Ducey committed to the full restoration of $352 million 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 $68 million. 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. Governor Ducey’s proposal includes $10 million to strengthen CTE by providing 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.
Safe Arizona Schools – The budget proposal includes $6 million in FY20 to create a new school mental health support professionals grant program, with plans to double the size of the program in FY21. This grant funding is intended to be used to hire school counselors and social workers, which is a critical investment as Arizona’s current ratio of students to counselors is 903:1 and the recommended ratio is 250:1. In addition, $9 million is included to fund the backlog of requests for 89 additional school resource officers, as part of the School Resource Officers Grant Program.
Results-Based Funding – $60 million to expand results-based funding, which awards Arizona’s highest performing schools based on the state’s A-F letter grade system. Under the plan, results-based funding will now be available to schools in high poverty areas that receive a “B” grade. Funding will be applied as follows:
- $400 per pupil for A schools with 60 percent or greater free and reduced price lunch status
- $225 per pupil for A schools with less than 60 percent free and reduced price lunch status
- $225 per pupil for B schools with 60 percent or greater 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 $786,000 for the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools to hire additional staff for charter school oversight
School Building Improvements – A total of $80 million is available for building renewal in FY20 (Includes $28 million in new funding for FY20 and $25 million in supplemental funding for FY19).
New School Construction – A total of $191 million is available for school construction in FY20. This funding will be targeted to specific school districts experiencing high levels of student growth, including Chandler, Douglas, Maricopa, Pima, Safford, Somerton, Laveen, Vail, Yuma Union, and Sahuarita.