Jesus Rubalcava 0

School Board Members Denounce Gov. Ducey's Budget Proposal

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Dear Governor Ducey,

As elected governing board members, we are writing to you to relay some concerns that we have about the education spending shift in your recently proposed budget. We have worked diligently to ensure our students receive the best education possible despite limited funding and drastic funding cuts.

The 5% diversion from “non-classroom” costs to “classroom” costs is a misnomer. Many of the classifications of non-classroom expenses are directly related to student success. We are certain you understand how speech pathologists, occupational therapists, and psychologists help a student’s ability to learn. But so does a safe, well-maintained building that ensures teachers don’t have to clean their own rooms or worry about their students’ health.

Over the past 7 years, we have made significant cuts to our administration and other non-classroom budgets. But many of our costs have stayed constant or risen. For example, our operating budget shrank but the cost to run our buses increased, giving the impression that we are spending more percentage wise on transportation than we have in the past. This is simply a numbers game; as budgets shrink and costs rise, the percentage is always going to look larger.

We chose to run for our governing boards to have a positive impact. We always demand that as much money as possible go into our classrooms, and so do our districts’ administrators. We have cut our administrative costs over the past 7 years. Bottom line: further cuts to these areas will be detrimental to student learning. Arizona school districts must provide the structure to support all of our students and teachers. Without it, you have a house without a foundation or an airplane without wings.

Governor Ducey, we urge you to further analyze exactly how these “non-classroom” positions and areas truly impact our students. We invite you to visit our schools and see firsthand how we utilize these different services and how they support the classroom experience.

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