Published: January 6, 2005
The Rodel Charitable Foundation of Arizona has commissioned a study to determine what it would cost to provide the state’s students with an adequate education. Seven school districts have claimed that the state’s existing finance system is inadequate in Crane Elementary School District v. State. Arizona’s system allocates money to schools through a foundation formula. The formula is based on a foundation level ($2,893 for fiscal 2005) that is set by the legislature each year. Arizona calculates each district’s share of state aid by multiplying the foundation level by student enrollment and subtracting a local levy. The state does not require a minimum local effort for districts to receive state funding, but assumes districts will raise a qualifying tax rate of $1.8931 per $100,000 worth of property value. The state adjusts state aid accordingly. If a district is able to raise more than its share of state aid through its qualifying levy, the district receives no money from the foundation formula. State aid also is adjusted according to school size, grade level, the number of special education students, English-language learners, transportation needs, and teacher experience.
Vol. 24, Issue 17, Page 62