Governor Ducey today proposed a major initiative to bring forth a proposal for a ballot measure which is a step in the right direction, acknowledging the need to invest in our children’s future and affirms that Arizona’s ranking of 50th in per pupil spending is unacceptable. The measure, if approved by voters, would direct additional money from the state land trust to our public school students and schools across that state.
Currently, a limited amount of funds equating to 2.5 percent from the state land trust are now distributed annually to public schools for classroom use through the Classroom Site Fund. The Governor’s proposal would increase that to 10 percent each year for five years, generating an estimated $1.8 billion in new money for schools. For the following five years, the 10 percent allocation would decrease to 5 percent, then reverting back to the current 2.5 percent level.
Careful management of state trust lands, including land sale and lease over many years, has resulted in a significant corpus for the trust, which is aggressively invested and has generated strong earnings, all of which are dedicated to public education in Arizona. The balance of the land trust now stands at $5.1 billion.
We will keep you informed of further details as they emerge.
Please note: The Governor’s proposal is not related to the settlement of the inflation funding lawsuit, which continues to follow its own course in the settlement and mediation process.