Recently, the Network for Public Education released its report card for United States’ schools. Arizona was one of eight to receive an F grade. While Arizona education has improved slightly in national rankings in the last year, it still remains in the bottom end.
AZ Central reported on the rankings, claiming that one of the biggest areas where the state has been marked down on is public financing for education, an issue across the country. Diane Ravitch, president of the NPE, stated, “The grades were not very high, but then support for public education was not very high.”
With the upcoming vote for Governor Ducey’s Proposition 123, many Arizonans are hoping to turn the funding issue around by providing $3.5 billion in state funds over the next ten years. Because the money will come from the State Land Trust, Ducey promises no rise in taxes, pulling the money from a source already allocated for education funding.
The Arizona Charter Schools Association posted a series of FAQs that respond to public concerns about the proposition. About the immediate effects of 123, they say:
“If voters approve Proposition 123, over $530 million new dollars will flow to schools in the next two school years, which is about $200-$250 per student annually. These dollars are flexible for schools to use as they need.”
While there are other issues causing Arizona’s failing grade like resistance to privatization and professionalization of teachers, educators are confident that, with more funding, the other problems will be easier to solve.
The vote for Proposition 123 takes place on May 17, 2016.