Political Agenda

political_agendaThe Arizona School Boards Association represents and advocates for the diverse interests of public school governing boards and the approximately 1 million Arizona children whose education is entrusted to their care.

ASBA’s position on issues is based on the association’s political agenda, which is discussed, debated and approved by ASBA membership at the annual Delegate Assembly. Every district member board has the opportunity to influence the yearly agenda. The association’s Legislative Committee, composed of interested school board members from throughout the state, provides leadership throughout the process of developing and adopting the political agenda.



2017 Political Agenda

  1. Strengthen the School Finance formula to equitably and adequately fund public schools:
    • Fund the implementation and ongoing costs of AZ standards, assessments and technology;
    • Protect desegregation funding from any cuts or modifications;
    • Allow districts the option to operate individual schools for 200-day school years and increase accompanying funding to 8% from 5% to improve student achievement;
    • Provide greater equity in funding and access for exceptional student services within the public school system;
    • Provide adequate funding to cover the cost of student transportation;
    • Provide adequate funding to cover the cost of student transportation;
    • Establish statewide poverty weights within the school funding formula.
  2. Advocate to eliminate unfunded mandates and administrative burdens.
  3. Assure a more stable and reliable revenue structure to support education.
  4. Advocate to renew, expand and improve Prop 301.
  5. Ensure 100% funding for all JTEDs.
  6. Fully fund full-day kindergarten and include kindergarten students in the override calculations.
  7. Provide funding for preschool programs.
  8. Reinstate and fund formulas to comply with at least state school building minimum standards and restore building renewal funding to ensure school district facilities are adequately maintained.
  9. Provide additional state funding for nationally competitive salaries to attract, recruit and retain talented teachers.

Local Control & Governance

  1. Uphold, preserve, and strengthen local control to reinforce the connection between the community and its elected governing board members.
  1. Allow school districts greater flexibility in the divestiture of property to address population and course needs.
  1. Maximize local control and flexibility in managing funds and programs.
  1. Change “override/budget increase” language to “locally controlled funding” to better reflect what voters are being asked to support.

State Education Policy  

  1. Fully restore 9th grade CTE/JTED eligibility and funding so students have the opportunity to explore career fields and or/certification completion.
  1. Allow all JTEDs to service students through the age of 21.
  1. Eliminate the change to current year funding and advocate to hold declining districts harmless for loss of funding and ensure funding accuracy and transparency in ADM calculations.
  1. Establish financial and academic transparency for all institutions that accept public funds.
  1. Repeal any program that gives public funds for private schools, ESAs & STOs or prevent any future expansion.
  1. Require comparative auditor general reports for district and charter schools.
  1. Require charter holders and applicants to use their local entity’s most recent demographic study and enrollment demand data to justify the need for a new school.
  1. Increase the compulsory attendance age from 16 to 18 years.
  1. Advocate for research-based reform of the English Language Learner model of instruction to improve student achievement.

Download/print the ASBA 2017 Political Agenda

2016 Political Agenda

Long-Term Focus – These overarching issues must be addressed for public schools to excel and provide an opportunity for every child to succeed. Providing high quality public education is the best investment to grow Arizona’s economy. The items below reflect those key issues on which we will concentrate over the next 5-10 years.

  1. Strengthen the school finance formula to equitably and adequately fund public schools to:
    1. Assure a more stable and reliable source.
    2. Maximize local school district flexibility in managing these funds.
    3. Require the same financial accountability and transparency measures of all schools and individuals that receive public funds.
    4. Repeal any program that gives public monies for private schooling.

2. Uphold, preserve, and strengthen local control to reinforce the connection between the community and its elected board members.

3. Meet the unique educational needs of every student so that all students have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Short-Term Focus – Building toward our long-term areas of success, the following items represent critical needs to put us on that path, and will engage our energies up to the next 3-5 years.

  1. Reinstate and fund formulas to comply with at least state school building minimum standards.
  1. Provide greater equity in funding and access for special education students within the public school system.
  1. Allow public school tax credits to be used as determined by local districts.
  1. Establish financial transparency and academic accountability for Empowerment Scholarship Accounts.
  1. Maximize income opportunities for teachers’ salaries and student support.
  1. Fully restore 9th grade CTE/JTED eligibility and funding so students have the opportunity to explore career fields and/or certification completion.
  1. Require comparative and consistent Auditor General Reports for public (district and charter) schools.

2016 Legislative Session-Specific – Building toward our long-term areas of success, the following items reflect issues that will not only move us forward, but we believe can be accomplished next year given the legislative atmosphere and current public trends.

  1. Fully fund full-day kindergarten and include kindergarten students in the override calculation.
  1. Fund inflation fully in the manner prescribed by statute mandated by Arizona voters.
  1. Repeal CTE and JTED cuts slated to take effect in Fiscal Year 2017.
  1. Change “override/budget increase” language to “locally controlled funding” to better reflect what voters are being asked to support.
  1. Fund the implementation costs of Arizona’s standards, assessments, and technology.
  1. Restore Building Renewal funding to ensure school facilities are adequately maintained.
  1. Allow districts the option to operate individual schools for 200-day school years and increase accompanying funding to 8% from 5% to improve student achievement.
  1. Increase the compulsory attendance age from 16 to 18 years.
  1. Eliminate the change to current year funding.
  1. Advocate to lessen unfunded mandates and administrative burdens.
  1. Allow school districts greater flexibility in the divestiture of property to address population and course needs.
  1. Protect desegregation funding from any cuts or modifications.
  1. Require charter holders and applicants to use their local entity’s most recent demographic study and enrollment demand data to justify the need for a new school.

Download/print the ASBA 2016 Political Agenda