Recap: While Politicians Say They Protected Education in FY 2008 to FY 2010, Cuts Totaled $875.5 Million
Education is once again on the chopping block this 2011 legislative session. While the Governor and many legislators claim they have protected education from cuts, there were actually $875.5 million in reductions to K-12, community colleges and universities. If you include rollovers and other fund shifts  which impede the cash flow of our educational institutions, the reductions are closer to $1.041 billion. (All calculations are based on the Arizona Joint Legislative Budget Committee calculations: JLBC Budget Reductions FY08-FY10.)
An Examination of the FY08-FY10 Cuts by Category:
|Organization||2008 Original Appropriation||Total Reduction (excluding rollovers & shifts)|
|K-12 Dept of Education||$4.363 billion||$311.8 million/ -7.15%|
|Schools Facilities Board (Construction & Maintenance of K-12 Schools)||$532.6 million||$279.1 million/-52.41% ($148.7 million additional rolled over or shifted )|
|Community Colleges||$167.7 million||$46.06 million/ -27.46%|
|Universities||$1.121 billion||$232.4 million/ -23%|
|All other education *
||$30.5 million||$6.057 million/ -19.85|
(*Includes: State Board of Charter Schools, AZ Schools for the Deaf & the Blind, Commission on Post Secondary Education)
Where Did Arizona K-12 Rank in 2008 Before the Cuts?
#46 – US Census Bureau Public Education Finances 2008, (Public Education Finances 2008, Issues 2010, Table 11)
#48 – Education Week Quality Counts 2011 Report–School Finance, (2008 numbers adjusted for regional cost differences.)
It is important to note that when looking at the above cuts and those proposed for FY2011-12, Arizona’s K-12 per-pupil spending was already ranked 46 out of 50. Arizona’s public school funding was already low. Take into account the past and proposed cuts to Arizona’s community college system and finally the complete elimination of funds for adult GED programs, and you have a public education system starved of vital funds at every level.
What Do These Cuts Mean to Me?
It is easy to see the consequences of these cuts in a typical public school in Arizona: the state no longer funds all-day kindergarten; schools have larger class sizes; libraries, music, art, gifted and physical education programs have been reduced or eliminated completely. There is no funding for increased energy costs, although these rates have continued to climb, nor are there funds for building repair.
These are just some examples of the affects of these cuts. AEN invites you to share your stories about how budget cuts have affected your schools. Please use the Comment section below.
 Approximately 25% of a school district’s funds have been rolled over and slated to be paid in a subsequent fiscal year. Some school districts have been forced to take loans to cover their obligations. When the rollovers are eventually paid to the districts, the district can repay the loans, but have unfortunately incurred interest costs in the process.
Tags: Arizona budget, arizona education, Arizona education budget, Arizona education funding, Arizona education standards, Arizona schools, Contact Governor Brewer, education, Governor Jan Brewer, Jan Brewer, John Huppenthal, k-12 education funding, Kirk Adams