ASBA objects to misleading ad by Arizona Education Project

While the AZEd News article is true in its post, the Arizona Education Project leaves out an important aspect in this article. The $1.5 billion in the last three years the Arizona Education Project references is not new money, Prop. 123 settled the inflation funding lawsuit between public education groups and the state over the state’s failure to provide billions of dollars in inflation funding. ASBA nor AZEdNews was NOT contacted for use of this article and does not endorse or is affiliated with the Arizona Education Project, and objects to the misleading ad like the ad that cited 12News which was later taken down.

ASBA supports Governor Ducey’s Safe Arizona Schools Action Plan

ASBA greatly appreciates Governor Ducey’s efforts to include input from students, parents, teachers, locally elected school boards, school administrators, behavioral and mental health professionals, law enforcement officers and other important stakeholder groups across the state for an opportunity to propose solutions to help keep our public schools safe.

We applaud the Governor’s efforts and look forward to continuing to work with him and the Legislature on public education needs and initiatives to implement the changes we need in public education to ensure that all students can succeed in Arizona.

Click here to view the Governor’s Safe Arizona Schools Action Plan.

The Trust Article

Click the image for PDF.

Debunking the $400 million “new spending” myth

Over the last few weeks, various media outlets have quoted Governor Ducey saying that one hundred percent of proposed “new spending” in the K-12 education budget next school year could go towards teacher raises. The governor is counting a great deal of the state’s routine obligations under existing law as new investments in education. The governor’s own proposal significantly contradicts that claim because school districts are not free to spend that entire amount on teacher salaries.

Of that $400 million, we identify $221.2 million that is committed to specific purposes, and therefore not available for statewide teacher salary increases:

  • $2.0M to “fully fund JTEDS”—This is a funding formula restoration that would go to career and technical education programs in the specialized JTEDs. JTEDs will most likely use this for their own capital needs since they are technology and equipment heavy.
  • $14.1M for “other strategic investments”—These are specific programs such as the early literacy grant program, results-based funding, etc. They are not uniformly distributed across the state. Some districts and charters may use these for teacher pay increases, but they are not statewide.
  • $35.2M for building renewal grants—This money is appropriated to the School Facilities Board, and can only be used for building maintenance, not teacher salary.
  • $88.1M in new school construction—This would also be money allocated to districts by the School Facilities Board for new school construction. This is not available for salaries.
  • $116M for student growth and inflation— We estimate districts would receive about 84% of any inflation funding and 5% of any student growth numbers. We are not certain where the $116 million comes from, since the number doesn’t line up with JLBC’s numbers. But, if we assume growth to be $81.8M of that to be student growth, districts would get approximately $4 million of that. The remainder, $34.2M for inflation, we estimate districts would get about $28 million of that. The district total would be $32 million of that $116 million pot.

That leaves us with about 178.8M remaining, in both inflation funding, additional assistance, and the salary increase:

    • $34M for a permanent salary increase—Yes, this will absolutely go to teachers as it did last year. It may not go to counselors and others who did not meet the definition of “teacher.”
    • $34.2M in remaining Inflation money ($116-$81.8 for enrollment) — Some of that could be passed along to teachers, but there are also health insurance cost increases that usually account for the majority of that these days. Inflation funding is largely spent on benefits but doesn’t always translate to higher take-home pay.
    • $100M in district additional assistance—Districts could theoretically give all this money to their existing teachers if they ignored every other need they have. But once again, we have a teacher shortage. Any of this money districts use to hire additional teachers to reduce class sizes or relieve the workload on their current teachers will not show up as raises. There is also a shortage of school counselors, deferred maintenance issues, aging school buses, etc. etc. Teacher raises, which are absolutely a priority, will compete for these dollars with safety issues that need to be addressed as well. District additional assistance is money that was supposed to have been in the formula since 2008. It has been cut by 2.4 billion or 75-85% since the recession.

So, is it new money this year? Yes. Is it above and beyond what the formula says school districts should get each year? No.

Do you know someone running for school board?

Do you know anyone thinking of running for school board? If so, please pass this information on to register for two free webinars hosted by the Arizona School Boards Association (ASBA). The Leadership Development team and a group of diverse school board members from across the state will share their knowledge and insights during both webinars.

Webinar 1, Thursday, March. 29, 6-7 p.m.

Webinar 2, Thursday, April 12, 12 – 1 p.m.

The webinar trainings will cover the following topics:

      • Introduction of ASBA
      • Legal Basis for School Boards
      • What Do School Boards Do?
      • Qualifications for Board Service
      • The Basics of Board Service
      • Team Member Roles in School Districts
      • Rewards of Board Service
      • Running for School Board: Legal Requirements for Getting on the Ballot
      • Campaigning 101
        • Fundraising
        • Messaging
        • Campaign Materials

ASBA is committed to providing training to prospective board members and hope you would be willing to help spread the word about these free webinars. Both webinars will be recorded and can be viewed at your convenience as long as you register.

Additionally, if you know of community groups providing candidate trainings or forums, we would also be happy to provide an overview of school board service to those groups.


By Ann O’Brien, Secretary, ASBA Board of Directors

About ten years ago, I began getting more involved in our community and learning more about my locally elected officials. It was election season and a candidate asked me if he was elected what did I want him to accomplish at the Arizona State Capitol. And I, unknowingly, uttered the ugliest word he had ever heard, COMPROMISE. Said candidate promptly turned his back on me and began speaking with another constituent. At the time, I actually did NOT understand what I had said to offend the candidate. You see, I was naïve enough to believe that my elected officials, irrelevant of party affiliation or background, were working to solve problems for ALL their constituents and community members. I was angry and outraged that my elected official believed his way was the only way. Needless to say, I did NOT vote for that candidate!

Arizona’s students deserve solution-oriented leaders willing to consider all viewpoints. As governing board members, we are empowered with the responsibility to make fact-based, data driven, student-centered decisions. This can only be done when we remove emotion and focus on the goal of increasing student achievement; therefore, it is our duty to embrace differences, consider wide-ranging perspectives and embrace others’ expertise.

Embracing differences and finding common ground must start at the dais. Our powers and responsibilities found in ASBA Policy BBA include ‘to work with other Board Members without neglecting a proper share of the work or trying to dominate the Board’ and ‘to vote and act in Board meetings impartially for the good of the District.’ Each Board Member has been duly elected by the district’s constituents or appointed by the County Superintendent giving each board member an equitable vote and voice.

Governing board members must unite people in the best interest of their students and ultimately, their community. Per ASBA Policy BCA – Board Member Ethics, Board Members ‘will become informed concerning the issues at publicly held Board meeting’ and ‘encourage the free expression of opinion by all Board members, and seek systematic communications between the Board and students, staff, and all members of the community.’ Bringing together a diverse group provides various perspectives allowing a problem to be assessed through multiple lenses is an excellent way to achieve these ethics. Working as a team, capitalizing on other’s expertise, considering all options with the goal in mind and using basic facts may lead to an innovative solution no one had previously considered. This is leading by example!

Are you embracing differences? What if you attend ASBA professional development? How is your board fostering a sense of community? What will be accomplished if there are opportunities for parents and community members to learn about the district? How will student achievement be impact if your board asks for and embraces input from all stakeholders: students, parents, educators, district staff, community members, business owners and local politicians?

Two superintendent searches open

Superintendent searches have just opened for Sanders USD and Red Mesa USD. Applications are now available and close in April. For more information or view other search positions click here.

School board members unite at the Capitol for Lobby Day


Members had an opportunity to unite at the capitol earlier this week and lobby their legislators directly on adequate and equitable funding, improving student outcomes, and other issues of importance to locally elected school boards. The event started with an advocacy workshop in the Historic Senate Chambers and an opportunity to watch the House/Senate in action as they debated bills that impacted public education on the floor. View all photos here.

Are you a candidate for ASBA's Leadership Lab?

Are you a school board member who is curious, reflective, ambitious, open, flexible, committed to positive change, and, above all, believe the success of public education is the cornerstone for building Arizona’s future? If so, we encourage you to apply for ASBA’s Leadership Lab.

The Leadership Lab is an intensive, highly interactive, relevant and authentic group learning experience designed to result in outcomes tailored to each participant’s own goals. Every Leadership Lab graduate will emerge with an actionable Leadership Growth Plan to guide their current and future service, leadership and impact. Each Learning Lab session includes issue education, skill-building, and self-work and personal reflection.

Each Learning Lab session will be a full day on Friday (9 a.m. – 4 p.m.), with an optional group dinner, and a half-day Saturday (9 a.m. – 1 p.m.). Participants must attend all sessions to graduate. Sessions will take place in September 2018, November 2018, January 2019, May 2019 and June 2019.

The cost of this yearlong, 50 CEU program, including all curricular materials, plus snacks and lunch each day, is $950 per person. Participants are responsible for travel and lodging costs (at a reduced ASBA rate), as well as optional Friday night dinners.

Applications will be available online beginning March 12 and due by April 6, 2018. For any questions or additional information, please contact Julie Bacon, ASBA’s Leadership Development Specialist.

Dr. Eric Motley shares a preview of his keynote presentation for Equity Event!

See what he has to say and don’t miss the Equity Event, March 22-23, 2018.

Two FREE recordings from ASBA's highest attended breakout sessions

ASBA encourages members to attend events that provide quality and vital professional development opportunities to help you grow as a school board member. We encourage you to click and listen to two free recordings of the highest attended breakout sessions during the Annual Conference.

ASBA's GR team reports from Cancun!

Tune in on Fridays, 3 p.m. for Facebook Live advocacy updates, and remember to look for the edited video on Mondays to find out where your GR Team will be reporting from next!

ASBA Events

Summer Leadership Institute, June 7-9
Reservation room update

Conference and hotel registration opens Monday, April 2, 2018. We continue our summer tradition by traveling to northern Arizona at Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

A block of rooms has been reserved at the Little America Hotel at a rate of $128 single/double. You can reserve your room by visiting their website. Reservations for lodging must be made by Wednesday, May 16, 2018. After this date, any remaining rooms in the block will be released for general sale and the group rate will no longer be guaranteed.

To be fair to all conference attendees, we request that you only reserve the number of rooms that will be utilized. If you need to make multiple hotel reservations under one name, you have until Friday, May 25, 2018 to substitute those names with registered conference attendees. After that time, multiple reservations under the same name that have been verified as not registered for the conference will be canceled and used for other attendees on the waiting list.

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