Don’t Aim for Average. Our New Goal? Make It Below Average. Or Below Below Average. Just not the Bottom of the Barrel.

by theschoolprincipal on September 3, 2016

The average per-pupil-funding across the 50 states was $11,009 (most recent info from U.S. Census 2016 report is for 2014). New York and Connecticut spend a heck of a lot more than Arizona — because they can.

Arizona per-pupil-funding for 2014 was $7528. That is an 11.6% drop in funding since 2010 — and over a 17% drop if you go back before the recession. As the recession has drawn to a close and states have more money in their coffers, some are steadily restoring the funding  of their schools. Arizona has not. Our legislature has done just the opposite.

Aspiring to be average — $11,000 —  is not realistic. Not going to happen in Arizona. Scratch that.

How about Below Average? I was thinking Arkansas. Arkansas’s per-pupil funding is $9616. Nah. It’s below average, but it’s a bridge too far.

So, what about Alabama?  $9028 per pupil. Is that too far a reach for our Arizona legislators to not only fund schools but to relieve local taxpayers — who are already paying a lot more in local taxes than they used to — because the Arizona Legislature is determined to bow out of its Arizona Constitutional requirement to fund schools. Well,  I kind of like that $9,000 figure. Let’s aim for Alabama. Good job, Alabama!

Does that $9 in the $9,000 make you quiver? All right.

Colorado. That’s the one. Colorado per-pupil spending for 2014 was $8985. That’s a little better than Arizona’s 2010 funding of education, which was $8520.

Still too much? Well, Dear Arizona Legislators, in order to start the journey of funding our schools properly, restore funding at the 2010 level of $8520. We’ll let you off the hook for now. But remember. It’s a journey, not a destination. Be warned. Parent coalitions are popping up around the state. The next election is only two years away. Peace.

Darn, somehow Below Below Average  now sounds mighty good. I wonder, though, why no other states are trying to be like  Arizona?

Go figure.



{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 theschoolprincipal
City:Lake Havasu City
September 5, 2016 at 9:29 pm

Sadly, I don’t think most of them will care.


2 John Sachs
September 5, 2016 at 11:51 am

When lists are published of states that are failing miserably in an area regarding human suffering we’ve become accustomed to seeing Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and West Virginia leading the pack. But to find that in the area of K-12 Education Funding Arizona has joined the ranks of “The Most Miserable” is surprising and disheartening. To have fallen so far, so fast can only be attributed to plutocratic tactics used by slave states to keep the masses uneducated and subservient. I wonder how Arizona legislators will respond when confronted with that comparison?


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