Voters Should Think Twice Before Approving Billions In Unwise And Unnecessary K-12 Bonds

November 3, 2023

By the Arizona Free Enterprise Club |

K-12 schools in Arizona are currently flush with cash. Between billions in increased state spending from the legislature, COVID cash from the feds, and declining student populations, district school spending is at an all time high. But next week, voters across Arizona will decide the fate of 23 bond requests from schools that total a historic $3.5 billion.

This level of borrowing being sought by local school districts is both unwise and unnecessary, especially given the large amounts of money that have been pumped into the system. State funding has increased so quickly in the last 36 months that the legislature decided to override the constitutional spending limit the last two fiscal years. This is funding over and above the formulaic cap in the constitution that exists to protect taxpayers from runaway and unaccountable spending.

And contrary to what you probably hear from teachers’ unions and their sycophant friends in the media, lawmakers continue to increase school spending with every state budget. With all this new spending, district schools receive more money per student than ever before, and it’s not even close.

Not included in the state spending cap, however, are federal funds. And when schools were shut down during COVID, the federal government poured trillions of dollars into them. Many of the school districts asking their taxpayers to hand over hundreds of millions of dollars in bonds next week are still sitting on a pile of unspent COVID cash…


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