Arizona Education Investment Improving, But Still Far Below National Average
For the second year in a row, classroom spending in Arizona has improved. However, a recent audit shows there's still plenty of work to be done to meet the national average.
Arizona school districts hired more than 100 new teachers statewide last year, helping to reduce classroom sizes in some public schools.
The latest State Auditor General's numbers show Arizona spent 54 cents of every education dollar last year on instruction, including teacher salaries, classroom supplies, athletics and music programs. That's up half a cent from two years ago, but the auditor general said we're still spending less than we did a decade ago and remain far behind the national average.
The report shows teachers' salaries are about $10,000 less than the national average, but that may be partly attributed to the number of recent new hires.
For the districts' part, the report recommended they do a better job on managing food, busing and administrative costs wherever possible.