Goldwater Institute: Lawmakers crack the code to K-12 funding in Arizona

Originally published by Matt Beienburg, Director of Education Policy and the Director of the Van Sittert Center for Constitutional Advocacy at the Goldwater Institute on March 30, 2021.

Arizona lawmakers just cracked the code for education funding in Arizona. But perhaps not in the way they intended.

The breakthrough came during Phoenix mom Elyssa Garcia’s testimony on SB 1280, a bill which would provide much needed transportation funding flexibility for Arizona public school families…

But as a recent Goldwater Institute report found, Arizona has increased its investments in K-12 by over 40%, even adjusted for inflation, over the past several decades. That means public schools today are getting more than $3,000 a year per kid (or $60,000 per class of 20 students) in extra funding.

So, while “more money” may be the right code words for politicians looking to score points with union benefactors, perhaps Arizona’s legislators will heed the testimony from moms like Elyssa Garcia, that what’s most needed is more flexible funding.

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