ARIZONA NEWS

State bill proposes overhaul of Arizona’s K-12 school funding formula

Apr 4, 2022, 4:35 AM
(File photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images)...
(File photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images)
(File photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — A bill Republican lawmakers are pushing through the Arizona Legislature proposes major changes to the state’s K-12 school funding formula.

Senate Bill 1269 was introduced late last month as a “strike-everything” amendment to an unrelated bill. It’s a last-minute procedure state lawmakers use to bypass deadlines and public hearings.

State Rep. Michelle Udall, R-Mesa, said she introduced the bill after holding multiple meetings with stakeholders.

“This is a huge step towards a more equitable school funding system where we pay the same amount for each child,” Udall said during a recent hearing in the House Appropriations Committee, which approved the bill last week along party lines.

State Rep. Kelli Butler, D-Phoenix, voted against the bill, saying she felt the bill was being rushed without input from school leaders. She also said lawmakers only had a week to review the 101-page bill and its fiscal impact analysis.

“These are monumental changes that we are making in a striker at the last minute,” she said.

The bill would get rid of the current results-based funding system that allocates funding to schools based on students’ results in standardized reading and math tests.

It would be replaced with “achievement weights” that would allocate funding to district and charter schools based on letter grades assigned to them by the State Board of Education.

District schools would also no longer get extra money for having experienced teachers, and a pot of money that helps boost teacher pay based on their performance would be eliminated.

Instead, district and charter schools would see about $170 million added to the basic funding formula.

In addition, changes to how district schools are paid for running bus routes would result in $120 million in additional funding being available but cuts for some schools.

Matt Simon, vice president of advocacy and government affairs for the school choice advocacy group Great Leaders, Strong Schools, said the bill would equalize the funding for charter and district schools.

“The time is far past to continue to treat students differently simply because of the educational choices they make,” Simon told the appropriations committee.

Meanwhile, Scott Thompson, assistant superintendent for Mesa Public Schools, said his school district, which is the state’s largest, could not support the bill because “we had very little time to look at it.”

He told the appropriations committee other school district leaders he has spoken to felt the same way.

“A lot of confusion, a lot of misunderstanding, very difficult to deal with this in a ‘striker’ moment,” Thompson said, referring to the strike-everything amendment process. “We’re just asking for some kind of seat at the table at this point.”

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

Firearms on display at the Legendary Guns store in Phoenix in 2018. (File photo by Daria Kadovik/Cr...
Neetish Basnet | Cronkite News

Arizona gun sales expected to surge, again, after mass shootings

Gun sales in Arizona have surged in recent years and experts say they could jump again after recent mass shootings.
10 hours ago
A man is in custody after more than 1,200 catalytic converters were recovered from a storage unit i...
KTAR.com

Man arrested after 1,200 catalytic converters found in Phoenix storage unit

A man was arrested Thursday after police recovered over 1,200 catalytic converters in a Phoenix storage unit.
10 hours ago
(Facebook File Photo/Lake Pleasant Regional Park...
Luke Forstner

Valley expert shares lake safety tips for Memorial Day weekend

People looking to cool off at a lake this Memorial Day weekend are asked to do so safely after a string of drownings.
10 hours ago
VR equipment and a version of the TASER 7 that utilizes VR technology for training, is demonstrated...
Taylor Tasler

Phoenix Police use virtual reality headsets to train for calls in the field

The Phoenix Police Department is one of the first law enforcement agencies in the country to use virtual reality to provide officers training in the field. 
10 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Fan Fusion,  Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for The Latin Recording Academy...
KTAR.com

Weekend guide: Here are the biggest events around the Valley for May 27-29

Need something to do? Here's a look at some of the biggest events happening around the metro Phoenix area for the weekend of May 27-29.
10 hours ago
(ADOT Flickr Photo)...
KTAR.com

No Valley freeway closures planned for Memorial Day weekend

Drivers won't have to worry about scheduled closures on metro Phoenix freeways this Memorial Day weekend, ADOT said.
10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
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?
...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Have you gotten your booster shot?

Do you remember when you got your last COVID-19 vaccination? If it has been more than five months since you completed your primary vaccination series, it’s time for you to get your booster. You may be eligible even sooner depending which vaccine you received. If you are over the age of 50 and received your […]
...
By Dr. Richard Carmona

Now’s a great time to receive your COVID-19 vaccine

If you haven’t received a COVID-19 vaccine yet, now’s the time to join many other of your fellow Arizonans who are doing so right now. No one will criticize you; there is no shame. In fact, you’ll be welcomed with smiles and open arms!
State bill proposes overhaul of Arizona’s K-12 school funding formula