There has been a false narrative for a long time that Republicans in Arizona don’t fund education.
In fact, it can be said that under conservative leadership, we are spending a record-high number of dollars on K-12 funding and doing it in a fiscally responsible way.
Arizona was recently named the top inbound state for migration. There is a reason people are fleeing liberal states like California and moving to Arizona. Conservative leadership matters. It means leaner, more efficient government and better educational opportunities for our kids.
Arizona tracks state general fund spending as a percent of taxpayers’ personal income. Comparing the Janet Napolitano era to the Doug Ducey era is instructive.
What liberals ignore about 2008 spending
Since Gov. Ducey has been in office, state general fund spending as a percent of personal income has averaged 3.39%. This is the lowest of any governor during the reported period.
During the Napolitano era, state spending was 25% higher. It proved to be unsustainable.
Liberals use 2008 K-12 spending adjusted for inflation as the baseline for what K-12 spending should be today. What they don’t mention is during the same time the state racked up record deficits, and in 2008, a year before Napolitano left office, Arizona was donned the dubious distinction as the state with the worst budget deficit in the nation.
Fortunately, Arizona abandoned its liberal policies and immediately began to take actions to right its fiscal ship.
Fast forward to 2019. What some thought impossible is about to happen. Ducey and a conservative Legislature have not only cut taxes and slashed regulations, but Arizona is approaching historical highs in total per-pupil spending, even when adjusting for inflation!
We spend more than $10K per student
The fact is, per pupil spending already surpassed its all-time high for actual non-inflated dollars. Total per pupil funding is now more than $10,000 per student in Arizona.
Taxes are low, regulations are light, government spending is lower as a percent of personal income, the state credit score is its highest, there is a billion dollars in the rainy day fund, yet Arizona will soon have to vote to exceed the constitutional cap on K-12 spending.