Prop 123 FAQs Arizona

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  1. What is Prop 123? 

The K-12 Education Funding Settlement Agreement reached this year which includes money from the State’s General Fund as well as the State’s Land Trust Proposal. Because the State cannot allocate these funds without voter approval, Prop 123 was created.

  1. How much are we talking?

These funds from the settlement will infuse $3.5 billion in additional education funding over the next 10 years and will increase the base per-pupil funding to $3,600 a year.

  1. Does Prop 123 increase taxes?

No. This plan would increase K-12 education funding WITHOUT raising taxes, giving much needed stability to our state’s education funding system.

  1. Does this solve our education funding issues?

No. This is just the first steps in the conversation about long-term education funding solutions.  What this initiative does do is settle past due bills, putting an end to the five-year 301 inflation lawsuit. It provides a more stable funding stream for schools, but more work still needs to be done.

  1. When will I get to decide on this initiative?

The state legislature has called a special election for May 17, 2016 to vote for the ballot initiative. The state House and Senate approved the plan during a special session held in October. You must be registered to vote by April 18, 2016 to vote in this special election.

  1. If the plan is approved, when will schools get the funding?

When voters approve the Prop 123, schools will start receiving the money in June 2016–THIS FISCAL YEAR!

  1. Why is the settlement good for kids?

If voters approve Proposition 123, over $530 million new dollars will flow to schools in the next two school years, which is about $200-$250 per student annually. These dollars are flexible for schools to use as they need as determined by the individual school districts.

Additionally, the funds are under LOCAL CONTROL. This means that school districts get to decide—not the legislature—on how the funds will be best utilized in your school district.

  1. What if Prop 123 fails?

If Prop 123 fails, the settlement is withdrawn and the case goes back to court for a judge to decide. This could take years (it’s been five years already since the lawsuit was first brought forward) and the funds, which are much needed RIGHT NOW in Arizona classrooms, might never make it to our students.

We want to STOP paying lawyers and put the money were it should be—our classrooms!

  1. Will funding Prop 123 “bust the trust”?

Prop 123 protects the trust.  According to the non-partisan Joint Legislative Budget Committee, even with the higher distributions of funds from Prop 123, the state land trust will still grow by over $1 billion over the next 10 years. The trust will continue to grow under Prop 123 so it can fund education for future generations.

  1. What’s the guarantee that these funds will go to classrooms and teachers?

No one knows better where this money needs to go than principals, school board members, and teachers. Prop 123 gives individual school districts and governing boards the control over the funds to ensure local decision-making and teacher input.

  1. Arizona PTA was against use of the State’s Land Trust to fund the settlement, why the change of heart?

Arizona schools need funding NOW and will receive funding this fiscal year when Prop 123 passes to meet with the settlement of the lawsuit only. This is a critical first step to discussing and establishing a long-term funding solution for education in Arizona; a conversation that is long overdue. Additionally, our Legislative Platform supports the advocacy for funding for Arizona’s public schools.

And our work doesn’t stop here. Take the Pledge to support Prop123Go where we keep moving forward to advocate for proper funding for public education.

 Arizona children

 

 

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