PHOENIX – Today, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman delivered her annual “State of Education” address to the Senate Education Committee.
With only twenty-one calendar days until every school district in Arizona faces devastating budget cuts – Superintendent Hoffman solely addressed the school closure ticking time bomb – the aggregate expenditure limit. Without a solution, this antiquated policy from 1980 will soon cut 16% from already allocated budgets to school districts. School leaders, educators, and parents are rightfully horrified that this is not an immediate priority for legislative leaders.
Saying “Let me be perfectly clear, inaction is not an option,” Superintendent Hoffman called upon legislative leaders to hear already introduced bills to waive the funding cap. For educators and school staff across the state, this budget cut will mean layoffs amid the already crisis-level teacher shortage. For students and their families, these cuts will mean losing access to academic programs, extracurriculars, high-quality teachers, and in the worst cases school closures.
Addressing each member of the Senate Education Committee directly, Superintendent Hoffman highlighted what these existential cuts would look like in communities across Arizona and asked for their votes for a clean fix on this urgent issue.
After the two most disruptive, difficult, and at times painful school years Arizona has ever faced, students and families do not have time for political games.
“You have 21 calendar days to prevent students and families from waking up to the consequences of political indifference – and failing to act will harm students and families,” said Superintendent Hoffman. “The money is already in district bank accounts, you are not adding new money or raising taxes – just letting them spend all the money you budgeted to them last year. There is no other choice but to suspend and repeal the cap.”
A full transcript of Superintendent Hoffman’s address can be found here.
A district-by-district breakdown of funding cuts can be found here.