Thursday, January 23, marked our first floor debate of the 2020 session of the Arizona House. We had Committee of the Whole (COW) for HCR2023, a bill to raise the Constitutional funding cap that was imposed upon schools districts in 1980.
We have to pass this bill in order to allow school districts to spend the money that we allocated to them. The 1980 funding cap formula is based on figures from the late 1970s. It is way out of date, obviously.
During the debate, Republicans tried to make the point that Legislators had to raise the spending cap because they have been so generous with the schools, and the schools are getting more money than ever.
The schools are getting “more money than ever” because we have more students in schools and more people in Arizona and because the schools were devastated by Republican budget cuts in the past decade.
Also, we have to raise the spending cap because the cap is based on the public schools of 40 years ago.￼ The school offices probably didn’t even have computers in 1980. Now schools need funding for computer labs, technology, and a broad variety of course offerings including nursing assistant, firefighter, and other technical degrees.
We need to change the funding formula so it reflects the needs of modern day schools and so it doesn’t have to be raised every year.￼ #LetsFixThis
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