K-12 Portion of FY2009-2010 Budget Passed June 4, 2009

K-12 Legislation:  The latest bill summary

June 5, 2009

What is the latest bill? In the wee hours of Thursday, June 4th the Arizona Senate passed a series of budget cuts, fund ‘sweeps’, borrowing, accounting gimmicks and fund ‘reallocations’ to withhold money from local governments.  This package of goods – along with a few funding formulas and righteous mandates – is otherwise known as SB1187, or the K-12 portion of the FY2009-2010 budget.

What does the legislation contain? SB1187 is quite the omnibus.  While the full, 171 page copy of the bill can be found here, we have highlighted some of the key pieces of the legislation below:

General cuts

$175 million in cuts to soft capital (leaving approximately $50 per student).

‘Soft capital’ is a general term which describes any school materials that are used by the student body.  This includes technology, textbooks, library resources, instructional material, furniture and other classroom equipment.

$102 million cut – no Prop 301 increase to base level funding.  The bill does allow for the Prop 301 mandated two percent funding of transportation route miles ($8 million).

While any increase sounds good in this budget, this item falls far short of the 2% increase to education funding legally mandated by Proposition 301 which  6/10th increase in sales tax passed by Arizona voters in 2000 to fund K-12 schools, community colleges & universities.

$48.3 million cut by eliminating the Homeowner’s Rebate for Career Ladder (teacher pay), Desegregation and the Transportation Revenue Control Limit (or TRCL – bussing for students living inside a school district).

$250 million revenue decrease due to the permanent repeal of the State Equalization Tax for education.

$230.4 million suspension of the building renewal formula.

–( Dollar figure yet unknown ) Carry forward of the FY 2009 cuts which is expected to reduce the education base level funding by an addition 2.3%

Teacher pay & employment regulations

–Eliminates the teacher performance pay fund.

–Reduces funding for existing Career Ladder participants and limits participation only to the individuals who were enrolled in the program for 2009.

— Prohibits any district policies based on “tenure or seniority”

— Requires teachers to pay the district for a substitute if they take a personal or vacation day to “lobby” at the Arizona state capitol.

–Eliminates current mandated deadline (April 15) for notifying teacher of their employment status of the upcoming year.

Kindergarten

–Permanently removes all-day kindergarten space for new school construction.

–Eliminates funding for early Kindergarten repeaters (this would apply only to children enrolling after the bill goes into effect).

The Political Underbelly: As Arizona voters slept, our Senate tucked away the flag o’ transparency once again and rounded up their members for a late night session. The rush to pass the bill was attributed in part to the fact that Senator Thayer Verschoor (Gilbert) had booked a cruise beginning on June 4th and they needed his vote before he left town (no, we aren’t kidding).  During the evening, Senate President Robert Burns also had round up some of the flock that was going astray…Senator John Nelson had told constituents that he would not vote for the bill, but changed his tune after being summoned to a closed-door meeting with Burns and House Speaker Kirk Adams.

Will it stick? Senate President Burns insinuated that the bill was a political maneuver to give the Senate Majority some leverage with Governor Brewer.  Burns was quoted as saying “I think we need to show that we have got the votes and that we can put a bill on her desk.” As of today (June 6), the bill has not been presented to the Governor’s office.

The Governor says “I really don’t understand why they got through the exercise if they’re not going to transit the bill.” From Paul Davenport of the Associated Press:  “Brewer said Thursday evening that she and her staff were still reviewing the bills and that she didn’t immediately know what she’d do with them. She also said she didn’t know what to make of the legislative leaders’ expressed interest in negotiating with her after already passing a budget.

Brewer spokesman Paul Senseman said a preliminary review of the bills raised concerns with the shortfall estimate, education spending cuts and possible jeopardy to stimulus dollars.”

Does the Arizona Education Network support this piece of legislation? NO.  Governor Brewer had also stated earlier this week that she would not accept legislation which “incorporates unrealistic spending cuts, excessive gimmicks or phony revenue projections”.  We agree wholeheartedly, and we are unclear why our legislators are continuing to ignore the Arizona Constitution.   Article 11, Section 10 reads in part:  “the legislature shall make such appropriations, to be met by taxation, as shall insure the proper maintenance of all state educational institutions, and shall make such special appropriations as shall provide for their development and improvement.”

How Did Your Elected Representatives Vote?

House Vote for SB1127 / K-12 Budget Reconciliation   June 4, 2009

Ayes: 32        Nays: 23        NV (not voting):  5      Status:  Passed – On hold for governor

AEN thanks all of the House Democrats and Republicans Bill Konopnicki of Safford, Doug Quelland of Phoenix and Vic Williams of Tucson for voting NO on this bill.

 

Member Name

Vote Member Name Vote Member Name Vote
Edward Ableser NV Frank Antenori Y Cecil P. Ash Y
Ray Barnes Y Nancy K. Barto Y Andy Biggs Y
Tom Boone Y David Bradley N Jack A. Brown N
Judy M. Burges Y Olivia Cajero Bedford N Chad Campbell N
Cloves C. Campbell, Jr. NV Tom Chabin N Steve Court Y
Rich Crandall Y Sam Crump Y Christopher Deschene NV
Adam Driggs Y Steve Farley N Patricia V. Fleming N
Martha Garcia NV Doris Goodale Y David Gowan Y
Matt Heinz NV Laurin Hendrix Y Russell L. Jones Y
John Kavanagh Y Bill Konopnicki N Debbie Lesko Y
Phil Lopes N David Lujan N Lucy Mason Y
John McComish Y Barbara McGuire N Nancy McLain Y
Eric Meyer N Robert Meza N Ben R. Miranda N
Steve B. Montenegro Y Rick Murphy Y Warde V. Nichols Y
Lynne Pancrazi N Daniel Patterson N Frank Pratt Y
Doug Quelland N Michele Reagan Y David Schapira N
Carl Seel Y Kyrsten Sinema N David W. Stevens Y
Andrew M. Tobin Y Anna Tovar N Rae Waters N
Jim Weiers Y Jerry Weiers Y Vic Williams N
Steven B. Yarbrough Y Nancy Young Wright N Kirk Adams Y

Senate Vote for SB1127 / K-12 Budget Reconciliation   June 4, 2009
Ayes: 16        Nays: 1          NV(not voting):  13         Passed – On hold for governor

AEN thanks all of the Senate Democrats (especially Senator Cahill, who hung in there to represent the Democrats at 3am) and Republicans Carolyn Allen and Jay Tibsharaeny, who wisely steered clear of this morass.

Member Name Vote Member Name Vote Member Name Vote
Paula Aboud NV Amanda Aguirre NV Carolyn S. Allen NV
Sylvia Allen Y Manuel V. “Manny” Alvarez NV Meg Burton Cahill N
Ken Cheuvront NV Jorge Luis Garcia NV Pamela Gorman Y
Ron Gould Y Chuck Gray Y Linda Gray Y
Albert Hale NV Jack W. Harper Y John Huppenthal Y
Leah Landrum Taylor NV Barbara Leff Y Linda Lopez NV
Debbie McCune Davis NV Al Melvin Y Richard Miranda NV
John Nelson Y Jonathan Paton Y Russell Pearce Y
Steve Pierce Y Rebecca Rios NV Jay Tibshraeny NV
Thayer Verschoor Y Jim Waring Y Robert “Bob” Burns Y

Want to read more?

GOP gives final OK to budget aimed at $3B deficit

Daniel Scarpinato, Arizona Daily Star  June 5, 2009

Arizona Senate approves Republican budget proposal

Howard Fischer, Capitol News Service, June 4, 2009

Legislature OKs budget, but will wait to talk to Brewer

Mary Jo Pitzl, Arizona Republic, June 5, 2009

Brewer, Legislators at odds on the budget

Simple grid which lays out the basic ideological differences between the budget proposals

Casey Newton and Matthew Benson, Arizona Republic, June 2, 2009

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