Deal Would Add $3.5 Billion Over Next Decade to State Education

Oct 26, 2015

A tentative deal that settles a lawsuit brought by schools over the Arizona Legislature's failure to give annual inflation boosts will add about $3.5 billion in new funding over the next 10 years.

The proposed settlement includes a new cash payment of $175 million to schools this budget year on top of $74 million in inflation funding the Legislature appropriated this year. Together that adds about $330 per student to the current $4,300 schools receive.

That new per student amount would increase every year under the inflation formula. But the deal includes new triggers that would let the Legislature forgo those boosts when economic growth slows.

Schools would also get $625 million over 10 years for not seeking back payments.

About 60 percent of the money comes from Gov. Doug Ducey's plan to tap the state land trust.

The Legislature needs to approve the proposal and some elements require voter approval.