The future of education in Pima County is severely at risk due to an upcoming decision regarding the Aggregate Expenditure Limit.
The Aggregate Expenditure Limit (passed and added to the Arizona constitution in 1980) sets a spending limitation for public schools based off of the total spending from all Arizona school districts (not including charter schools). The limit is adjusted each year based on the student population and cost of living.
If this limit is exceeded and nothing is done to allow schools to exceed the limit, schools will have to cut their budgets to meet it instead. Expenditures above the limit have the possibility of being allowed, but only if the Legislature – by a two-thirds majority of both chambers – passes a concurrent resolution that allows districts to exceed the limit. This has to happen by March 1st for schools to keep their funding. However, if there is no override from the Legislature, schools will be forced to cut their budgets by April 1st.
If districts are not allowed to exceed the limit, it is estimated that there will be over $1 billion in school district budget cuts. Something has to be done to protect both our schools’ funding and our children’s education.
We need people from the Pima County community to contact our Legislature and tell them not to cut our districts’ funding and to cancel the Aggregate Expenditure Limit completely.
Contact AZ Governor
Contact Governor Doug Ducey (azgovernor.gov) to tell him how unacceptable this is; the Senate and House need to hear these bills immediately without the use of our children’s futures as a bargaining chip for the Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) program.
Contact AZ House of Representatives
Members of the House of Representatives to contact are Michelle Udall, the chair of the House Education Committee (email at MUDALL@azleg.gov or call (602) 926-4856), and Rusty Bowers, the chair of the House of Representatives (email at RBOWERS@azleg.gov or call 602-926-3128).
Ask them to bring forward HB2335 and HB 2012, both of which would cancel this year’s AEL and all AELs in the future.
Contact AZ State Senate
Contact senators Paul Boyer (email at PBOYER@azleg.gov or call (602) 926-4173) and Karen Fann (email at KFANN@azleg.gov or call 602-926-5874).
Ask them to bring forward SB 1221, SCR 1022, and SCR1023. These will also cancel this year’s AEL and all AELs in the future.
More information on this issue can be found through Arizona Education Association, Save Our Schools (SOS), as well as the Pima County Superintendent of Schools.