Phoenix educators call on AZ lawmakers to address looming school crisis

By Rocio Hernandez
Published: Monday, January 31, 2022 - 11:20am

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Demonstration at Kenilworth Elementary School
Rocio Hernandez/KJZZ
A group of Phoenix educators and community members held a demonstration Jan. 31, 2022, at Kenilworth Elementary School in Phoenix calling on Arizona lawmakers to address a looming public school crisis.

About 40 educators and community members gathered at Kenilworth Elementary School in Phoenix on Monday advocating for an override of the aggregate expenditure limit on Arizona K-12 public schools. The 1980 measure caps the total amount that schools can spend as a whole each year. This year, school spending is expected to exceed it due to a lower spending limit as a result of a decrease in student enrollment and more state funding counting toward it. 

If that happens, Arizona K-12 schools would have to cut more than $1.1 billion from their budgets. 

“Teaching is already an underfunded profession as it is, so having another thing that stands as a roadblock in teachers getting the funding that they need doesn’t help anything," said John Franklin, a fourth grade teacher at Kenilworth. 

Kenilworth is part of the Phoenix Elementary School District, which could face a budget cut of nearly $8.1 million if nothing is done. 

Lawmakers have until March 1 to act.

Kenilworth Elementary School
Rocio Hernandez/KJZZ
Kenilworth Elementary School is part of the Phoenix Elementary district, which could face a budget cut of nearly $8.1 million if lawmakers don't address the aggregate expenditure limit on Arizona K-12 public schools.

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