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Arizona schools face spending cuts if cap is not lifted

A constitutional cap on Arizona school budgets limits how much districts can spend each year — unless state lawmakers vote to waive the cap. If not lifted, the cap could lead to a massive cut in school funding, layoffs and possibly an early end to the school year.

Arizona Superintendent Kathy Hoffman spoke to PBS’s “Arizona Horizon.”       

“It could effectively cut around $2 billion from our public education system," Hoffman said. "So saying that we just added $500 million for our base funding and $100 million for special education, all of that progress would be washed away.”

Hoffman wants Gov. Doug Ducey and state lawmakers to lift the cap now, before a new governor and new legislators take control in 2023.

“It’s definitely impacting our school leaders, our superintendents’ abilities, and our school board’s ability to budget out, especially for ongoing funding like teacher salaries," Hoffman said.

It takes a two-thirds majority vote in both the House and Senate to waive the spending cap for one year.

 

Nick Sanchez is a senior producer for KJZZ's The Show. He joined the station as an intern during the spring of 2022, where he developed a passion for audio storytelling in the Valley.