Based on our analysis of fiscal year 2004
data, Arizona school districts spent 58.6 percent of their dollars in the
classroom, the same as in fiscal year 2003. However, the most recent
national average was 61.5 percent, and the ten states closest to Arizona in
per-pupil spending averaged 61.3 percent. State-wide, Arizona districts
spent higher percentages on plant and student support costs and a lower
percentage on administration when compared to the national and peer state
Larger student populations continued to
be the primary factor associated with individual districts’ higher classroom
dollar percentages. Higher plant, administrative, and transportation costs
were associated with lower classroom percentages. Within Arizona, higher
per-pupil total spending does not equate to higher classroom dollar
percentages. In fact, districts that spent the most per pupil have lower
classroom dollar percentages, on average.
Districts spent Proposition 301 monies
almost solely on instructional staff salaries and benefits, complying with
the requirement to spend at least 60 percent of the monies for that
purpose. On average, districts reported that Proposition 301 monies
accounted for 10 percent of teacher pay.
The report also contains alphabetically
organized one-page information sheets on individual districts, summarizing
each district’s classroom spending and administrative costs, its reported
Proposition 301 program results, and other comparative information.