Arizona Education Funding Formula Basic Essentials. For Those Who Care But Do Not Have an Accounting Degree

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1 Arizona Education Funding Formula Basic Essentials For Those Who Care But Do Not Have an Accounting Degree

2 A Preview The Basic Formula same $ for everyone... sort of The Weights adding dollars for special needs Capital buildings, computers, books & more Local extras how your vote makes an impact Show Me the $$ QTR & NAV & Basic Aid??? How Do We Compare How you can make a difference

3 The Basic Support Level Formula Since the early 1970s, Arizona has had an equalization formula for public education NO MATTER WHERE A CHILD LIVES IN OUR STATE, he receives the exact same amount of base funding as every other child in our State This is known as the Base Support Level (BSL) I get what she gets, and she gets what he gets and it doesn t matter where we live in the whole State* * Except for the weights

4 The Weights On to the Basic Support Level (BSL) are added weights, or additional funds for more costly types of instruction There are weights for Special Ed. High School Students English Learners K 3 Students * Small/Isolated Districts * There used to also be a weight for Kindergarten that paid for All Day Kindergarten. That was eliminated in 2010.

5 What Does A Weight Look Like? The Special Education Weight for FY2010 was calculated by multiplying the BSL (base) amount by the given number for each diagnosis: Multiple Disabilities Severe Sensory Impairment Orthopedic Impairment (Self Contained) Visual Impairment Hearing Impairment Moderate Mental Retardation Developmental Delay, Mild Mental Retardation, Speech and Language Impairment, Other Health Impaired 0.003

6 The Capital Funding Formulas There is a formula to calculate soft capital (paper, pencils, anything used in the classroom that does not last) Unweighted student count x BSL There is another formula to calculate Capital Outlay Revenue Limit CORL (textbooks, desks, chairs, computers, and other stuff that lasts a while) Unweighted Student Count x BSL x CORL Growth Factor + High School Textbooks Capital funds are typically NOT allowed to be used for anything but Capitalfund swaps are NOT OK

7 Local Extras School districts are allowed to increase their funding through voter approved overrides and bonds M&O Override* = 15% of M&O budget Capital Override = 5% of M&O budget Bonds = specified amount for specific capital (building/bus) projects * In 2010, the State passed a law that ended the K 3 Override possibility, and increased the maximum amount of an M&O Override from 10 to 15%

8 Overrides & Bonds Any override is for a 7 year period. It is an added percentage of up to 15% of the total M&O budget that, if passed, can be used for anything that legally falls under M&O (the bulk of this budget is staff and salaries). At the end of the 5 th year, the funding begins to decrease; so districts typically ask for renewals in the 4 th year. Bonds are for specific capital projects, primarily building renovations & transportation needs. Bonds cannot be renewed. Each new project requires a new bond that must legally specify every part of the project in detail. Funds approved through bonds can ONLY be used for the specifications in the bond language. Local elections offer voters a chance to supplement with their own tax dollars the funds directed to their neighborhood public schools

9 Other Funding Pots of Money Besides the voter approved projects (overrides and bonds) school districts can generate revenue through property taxes for line items including: Adjacent ways $ to improve public ways on land owned or leased by schools. Desegregation Transportation Prevention Districts also get some Indian Gaming money, although these funds have dwindled with the decline in the economy. And sometimes voters approve measures, like Prop. 301, that mandate additional education funds. The district used to be able to collect for utilities since the State froze funding at 1980 levels. This ability was taken away in A new utilities funding formula has been created, but it has yet to be funded. Utilities alone costs our district about $5 million every year.

10 A Funding Graphic (just a picture no ratio accuracy!) $9500 $3700

11 Who Pays For It All & How? Public education is paid for by the State and the local communities*, based on the Equalization Concept: School District Spending Limit (BSL with weights and capital) minus Local Contribution (QTR) equals State Aid (Equalization Assistance)

12 The Taxes We Pay The legislature sets the Qualifying Tax Rate (QTR). This is the tax rate the legislature uses to determine how much money a school district will get from the state, if any. QTR x Net Assessed Values (NAV) =? State Aid?

13 Who Gets State Aid? Not Much for Us! If the equalization base funding level is greater than QTR (the tax rate) x NAV (total property values), local property taxes will not be adequate to fund the district s budget. The remaining amount of funding is provided by the state s general fund. This is called basic state aid. Typically, this occurs in smaller, more rural communities with less business and property to tax. If the equalization base is less than QTR x NAV, no basic state aid is provided and the primary property tax rate is set at the level required to generate the equalization base. Any additional taxes collected in these communities are put back into the state general fund to be used for basic state aid.

14 What Do Taxes Look Like in SUSD? For FY11: County Tax $0.06; Community College $0.09; City of Scottsdale $0.16; SUSD $0.03. Lots of numbers Bottom line: The district has consistently lowered out tax rate over the last few year, has seen enrollment dip and then rise, and has received consistently less per student in state funding

15 Construction & Facilities Growing districts are given funds from the State to build new buildings. Until last year, school buildings were paid for with cash from the general fund. Older districts and those with declining enrollment are legally entitled to receive renewal and upgrade funds from the State School Facilities Board (SFB). For the past 3 years, the State has not fully funded this Board. Any district can go to its local voters to ask for a bond for new construction. Once a bond is passed, it is audited every year and MUST ONLY BE USED as specified in the ballot.

16 So In A Nutshell The State has an equalization formula that funds every child in the State at the same base level. Funding increases if the district has children with special needs by applying the special weights formula For some projects, local communities can vote to use their property taxes to directly support their schools. For some projects, districts can assess a local property tax State aid money is given to districts that cannot raise enough taxes on their own Money for facilities goes to growing and new districts

17 And With All This Funding, Where Do We Stand?

18 How the $$ Are Spent Arizona 2009 National *Difference SUSD Instructional 56.9% 61% 4.1% 57.7% Plant Operation 11.6% 9.9% +1.7% 11.2% Administration 9.0% 10.8% 1.8% 8% Student Support 7.5% 5.2% +2.3% 7.9% Instructional Support 5.5% 4.9% +0.6% 6.1% Food Services 4.8% 3.8% +1.0% 4.4% Transportation 4.3% 4.2% +0.1% 4.1% Other 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% * According to the US Department of Education s National Center for Educational Statistics 2007 (most recent year available) and AZ. Auditor General s 2009 Report

19 Take Home Messages Education funding in Arizona is largely regulated at the state level based on an equalization formulaevery child gets the same amount regardless of location. Local school boards and district administrations can make some decisions about how to spend those funds. But If you want to impact funding, you need to be active at the State level. There are a few ways that local voters can supplement education funding at the ballot box. Your vote matters!

20 Need More Information? David Peterson, SUSD Asst. Superintendent & CFO Arizona Association of School Business Officials Arizona Business and Education Coalition Arizona Education Network Arizona Tax Research Association

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