Dr. Daniel L. Kester is Pima Community College’s Director of Veterans and Military Affiliated Services.
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Right from the State Auditor General:Between fiscal years 2001 and 2009, Arizona’s total operational spending per pupil increased 47 percent before decreasing 5 percent between fiscal years 2009 and 2011. Despite this overall increase, Arizona’s per-pupil spending continues to trail the national average by nearly $2,700. Arizona districts also allocate resources differently than the national averages, spending lower percentages of available operating dollars on instruction and administration, and higher percentages on plant operations and student support services.
Arizona’s state-wide average classroom dollar percentage in fiscal year 2011 was 54.7 percent, a record low since our Office began monitoring classroom dollars 11 years ago. Each year since fiscal year 2004, districts have decreased the percentage of their resources they allocated to the classroom. Further, this shift in spending out of the classroom accelerated in fiscal years 2010 and 2011.
A few responses to the commenter calling him/herself Scooper. . .David Safier is not taking an emotional crying approach as the commenter suggests. Maybe Scooper is very emotional about this issue, but clearly Safier is taking a very reasoned approach. Second, even if the JLBC is right, without these monies, our schools will go from last in the nation to a distant last in the nation. Third, the commenter suggests that David Safier is always wanting more tax dollars for education. Perhaps the commenter has not been paying attention. The entire time Safier has been doing these writings, AZ has been in the bottom 5 states, most recently in last place. When you have so little money for this entire time, it makes sense to be for more money for schools this entire time. I suggest the commenter get a grip on what has happened to the quality of education in Arizona.
Couple of things before we run to get our crying towels as the writer would have us do.
According to an analysis by the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, the do-what-you-want pot is drained after five years. And over 10 years, both pots fall $1.4 billion short of paying for just inflation. Proposition 204 supporters seem divided over whether to accept or dispute the JLBC's interpretation. Check the JLBC for yourself.
Take a look at the AZ State Auditor General's site. Even with the slight decrease in state spending, money to the classroom is at an al time low.
And $$/student means nothing unless graduation rates are considered. Chicago, LA, Detroit, and DC have extremely high $$/student with much lower graduation rates.
The writer is consistent--he always wants more $$ for the tax and spend crowd in education. At the same time, he never has asked for verification of performance by schools or teachers.
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