Arizona Senate Republicans
Senate Republicans Prevent Teacher Layoffs & School Closures
Updated: Feb 14
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 8, 2023
Senate Republicans Prevent Teacher Layoffs, School Closures By Allowing Districts to Spend Historic Funding Increases Allocated in 2022-2023 Budget
PHOENIX, ARIZONA— Senate Republicans announce today Arizona's K-12 public schools system will not face any financial hardships or budget cuts this year with the passage of S.C.R. 1009 (school district expenditures, authorization), sponsored by Senate Education Committee Chairman Ken Bennett.
S.C.R. 1009 authorizes school districts to spend the approximately $1.4 billion that exceeds the aggregate expenditure limit (AEL) due to last year's historic investment made in public education, which was supported and passed by Senate Republicans. The AEL is a constitutional amendment passed by Arizona voters in 1980 as a way to limit rapid increases in government spending that are out of proportion to population growth and inflation. The AEL for K-12 public schools is adjusted annually for cost of living and student enrollment, plus 10 percent.
"Senate Republicans have an uninterrupted history of always allowing our K-12 public schools to spend the money appropriated to them by the Legislature, and this year is no different," said Senator Bennett. "By far, our public education system receives the most money annually from our state budget. The AEL is a needed tool to make sure we are allocating a relevant amount of funding to give our kids a successful education so that they can contribute to our state in a positive and productive manner down the road."
"A big reason school districts hit the AEL cap is because Republicans have infused so much money into K-12 education," said President Pro Tempore T.J. Shope. "Between 2015 and 2022, we've provided an additional $4 billion to our districts, including the 20% teacher pay raises that Senate Republicans voted in support of back in 2018, but that former Democrat Senator Katie Hobbs voted against."
"We've also increased per pupil spending by more than 40% since 2015," said Majority Leader Borrelli. "Right now, a student within our K-12 public schools system is allocated on average $13,306 in funding annually for their education."
"Republicans keep providing additional funding to support our K-12 public schools, but we keep hearing it's never enough," said Majority Whip Sine Kerr. "We have some of the best schools in the country found in Arizona, but at the same time, we have some of the worst underperforming schools, and we need to figure out why."
"Unfortunately, these historic increases in education spending that Republicans voted for have not equated to better test scores for our students or higher pay for all of our teachers," said President Warren Petersen. "In the coming weeks, we will be working with the Joint Legislative Audit Committee Chairman to investigate how these dollars are being spent. With extra funding comes a greater responsibility from our K-12 public school districts to provide a better education for all students, and we intend to make sure this happens."
For more information, contact:
Director of Communications | Arizona State Senate Republican Caucus