Gov. Doug Ducey's proposed 2019 budget includes $400 million in "new investments" for Arizona public schools. That breaks down to about $350 per student.
Of that, $116 million, or about 30 percent, is legally required to address student growth and inflation costs. The rest, if approved by the Legislature, would give schools additional money for things such as building repairs, teacher salaries and full-day kindergarten.
How might that trickle down to your child's school? Here are five ways:
1. School repairs and buses
Capital funding is arguably the centerpiece of Ducey's education funding plan. He's proposing an additional $100 million for district and charter schools next year.
Capital funding — formally known as District and Charter Additional Assistance — is one of the "pots" of money that the state's public schools get from the state.
This pot, which has been cut by $2 billion since 2009, pays for things such as building repairs, school buses, textbooks, furniture and classroom technology.
State law gives public schools flexibility in how they choose to spend dollars from the capital-funding pot and the other major pot of money, Maintenance and Operations, which primarily pays for teacher salaries and classroom expenses.
But the cuts in capital funding following the recession have left many schools in a bind. Some have said they've taken money from the M&O pot to pay for deferred maintenance on school buses or buildings instead of putting it toward teacher raises.
Many schools have sought property-tax measures from local voters to help make up the difference.
The governor's plan does not mandate how schools have to spend the $100 million, but Ducey expressed optimism this week that it would indirectly help free up more money in schools' budgets for teacher pay.
2. Teacher pay increases
Teachers would get the second half of the incremental 2-percent teacher salary increase Ducey first introduced last year.
That pay bump would amount to $600 to $800 annually for most teachers.
Pay is one of the biggest factors experts point to in the state's ongoing shortage of qualified teachers.
The median pay for elementary teachers in Arizona was $42,474 in 2016, compared with $55,800 nationally, according to data tracked by the Expect More Arizona non-profit.
3. New construction and emergency repairs
A total of $51.8 million would go to the state's School Facilities Board for building renewal grants.
These grants are sought by schools to improve or repair aging facilities. State lawmakers have only been able to assure $17 million a year for the grant program in recent years.
Schools have competed to secure the scarce funding to deal with critical emergency repairs.
This recently has included repairs at dozens of schools found to have flooring capable of emitting toxic mercury vapor and school water fixtures that have been found to have elevated levels of lead.
The budget also would include $81 million for the construction of five schools in Tolleson, Chandler and Queen Creek.
4. Early literacy
Schools would get $4 million to continue expanding early literacy programs, adding to the $8 million Ducey and the Legislature approved last year.
This effort mainly targets full-day kindergarten programs in select schools.
Kindergarten is not technically a grade in Arizona, and the state does not fully fund students that attend a full day's worth — six hours — of instruction.
While most schools still offer full-day kindergarten, they do so at a cost to parents via tuition, taxpayers via override measures, or out of their own budgets.
Fully funding full-day kindergarten in Arizona would cost an estimated $240 million.
5. Career and technical education
The state's two largest Joint Technical Education Districts — East Valley Institute of Technology and Western Maricopa Education Center — would get an additional $2 million under Ducey's plan.
JTEDs, as these schools are referred to, offer high school-level career and technical education programs that include areas such as business management, nursing, law enforcement and culinary arts.
EVIT and West-MEC — both in the Phoenix area — would be fully funded under the governor's plan. Unlike high school students in traditional district and charter schools, JTED students currently do not get funding for all four years of school.
The additional money these schools would get would go toward enhancing the industry-certified programs offered by these two JTEDs.
For more information or assistance, contact Governor Ducey's press office: (602) 542-1342.