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.

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

(Creative Commons)...

FBI arrests woman who allegedly robbed 4 metro Phoenix banks

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has arrested a suspect accused of robbing four metro Phoenix banks in September and October.
22 hours ago
FILE - In this Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, file photo, voters stand in line outside a polling station, o...
Associated Press

QAnon figure Ron Watkins says he’s running for Congress in Arizona

Ron Watkins, a prolific promoter of false conspiracies about the 2020 election who is closely tied to the QAnon movement, says he is running for Congress as a Republican in Arizona.
22 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Peoria Police Department)...

18-year-old man dead after gun accidentally discharged in Peoria

An 18-year-old man died after a friend accidentally shot him in the chest while cleaning a gun in Peoria, authorities said Thursday.
22 hours ago
( Screenshot)...
Kevin Stone

Here’s how to make sense of changes to Arizona’s COVID-19 dashboard

The Arizona Department of Health Services rolled out a variety of changes to how it presents data on its COVID-19 dashboard this week, some that could be confusing without further explanation.
22 hours ago
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)...
Associated Press

Judge again rules Arizona Senate’s election review records to be made public

A judge has rejected the Republican-controlled Arizona Senate’s contention that it can withhold a raft of communications between its leaders and private contractors they hired to conduct an unprecedented review of the 2020 election results in the state’s most populous county.
22 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/The University of Arizona)...
Kevin Stone

ASU, UArizona, NAU announce COVID-19 vaccine mandates for employees

Arizona’s three public universities announced Friday they will be requiring most employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Dec. 8.
22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


What you need to know about spine health

With 540 million people suffering from lower back pain, it remains the leading cause of long-term disability. That’s why World Spine Day on Oct. 16 will raise awareness about spinal health with its theme, BACK2BACK. “BACK2BACK will focus on highlighting ways in which people can help their spines by staying mobile, avoiding physical inactivity, not overloading […]
PNC Bank

3 cool tips to turn everyday moments into learning experiences for your child

Early brain development has a crucial impact on a child’s ability to learn and succeed in school and life. Research has shown that 90% of a child’s brain is developed by age five.
Day & Night Air

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
Arizona schools could lose funding for switching to remote learning