Arizona schools could lose funding for switching to remote learning

Aug 18, 2021, 4:45 AM
A student colors in a classroom at Tussahaw Elementary school on Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021, in McDono...

A student colors in a classroom at Tussahaw Elementary school on Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021, in McDonough, Ga. Schools have begun reopening in the U.S. with most states leaving it up to local schools to decide whether to require masks. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

PHOENIX — Arizona public schools that switch back to online learning as a way to stop the spread of COVID-19 could lose out in state funding.

Christ Kotterman, director of government relations for the Arizona School Boards Association, explained that’s because of the way the state’s funding formula for K-12 public schools is set up.

“Any time a school district goes online, for the most part, they’re going to experience a reduction in funding,” he said.

Schools that want to offer online instruction must first get authorization by the Arizona State Board of Education. They’ll receive 95% of state’s base funding level per full-time online student and 85% for each student who does online learning part-time.

Kotterman explained that means a school could lose funding for the part of the year the student did online learning. He added the reasoning is “it costs less to administer an online program because there’s no brick and mortar.

“But that’s not the case now,” he said. “Costs are increasing.”

Meanwhile, Gov. Doug Ducey is encouraging schools to stay open. He announced on Tuesday that $163 million from the American Rescue Plan will be distributed among district and charter schools that follow Arizona law and remain open for in-person instruction.

Schools that abide by Ducey’s stipulations could get up to $1,800 in additional funding per student this academic year.

But Kotterman said if COVID-19 cases continue to rise in schools, closing down and switching back to online instruction may be the best temporary solution. As of Tuesday evening, there were 74 schools in Maricopa County with active outbreaks of COVID-19.

“If we can’t get a handle of this, one of the only tools available to district is going online at least for a period of time,” he said.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Pexels Photo)...
Associated Press

Suspect arrested after fatal fast-food drive-thru shooting in Phoenix

Phoenix police have arrested a suspect a shooting at a drive-thru that left a fast-food worker dead and a second one wounded.
1 day ago
Arizona GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake speaks to the media after voting on November 08, 2022...

Defeated Republican Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake files election lawsuit

Kari Lake filed a lawsuit Friday claiming the number of illegal votes cast in Arizona's general election outnumber her margin of defeat.
1 day ago
(Getty Images)...

Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema relieved by Brittney Griner’s release from Russian prison

Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema said she is not in a place to criticize the Brittney Griner-Viktor Bout exchange and is happy Griner is home.
1 day ago
(Twitter Photo/Abraham Hamadeh)...

Republican Arizona AG candidate Abe Hamadeh files another election lawsuit

Republican Arizona Attorney General candidate Abe Hamadeh filed another election lawsuit Friday, asking for another look on his race.
1 day ago
(AP Photo/Matt York)...
SuElen Rivera

Maricopa County recorder proposing ways to speed up vote count

Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer said he planning to propose changes to Arizona election laws that would speed up the vote count.
1 day ago
A cold and flu medicine shelf is empty in a CVS pharmacy on Dec. 6, 2022, in Burbank, California. (...
Associated Press

Maricopa County health officials warn about spread of flu, COVID, RSV

Arizona's most populous county is warning of a significantly rise in cases of the flu, COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
Arizona schools could lose funding for switching to remote learning