By Stacy Winstryg
Governor Ducey has just released his proposed budget for the 2020-21 school year and Vail Parent Network is very excited about the details! This is by and large the best budget we have seen in regards to education funding in years! He is proposing $608 million be invested in K-12 education. Here are the highlights:
- $204 million to fully restore capital funding (DAA).
- $175 million to complete the 20×2020 teacher pay raises as scheduled.
- $38 million to fund the remaining school safety officers and counselor grant request. Some of that was funded in last years budget. Vail applied for one at every school but only received 2. This would ensure that almost every school in Vail receives one.
- $44 million to fund a three year program to target low income/high poverty schools labeled C, D or F.
- $35 million for results-based funding. Currently, only the districts rated in the top 10% receive this funding. This will expand so that every A and B rated school will receive the funding.
- $35 million for the School Facilities Board for Building Renewal Grants. This will assist in repairing and maintaining schools.
- He would also like to increase the price paid to build new schools from $145 per square foot to $285 per square foot as well as fund on current need versus two years out. The actual cost to build a new school is currently $320 per square foot so it is still not enough, but it at least doubles the current rate.
While we have to remember that some of these figures, like capital funding, are only being restored to 2008 levels, these increases are more money than we have seen invested in education since then. VPN is excited to endorse this budget but will continue to remain vigilant in pushing for K-12 education to be fully-funded.