By Mary Jo Pitzl
The Arizona Republic
When it comes to funding education, the question with Proposition 118 is whether to embrace a sure thing or stick with a gamble.
The ballot measure proposes a new formula for sending money from Arizona’s trust-land endowment to 13 beneficiaries, most of which are public schools. The formula would guarantee an annual payment based on 2.5 percent of a five-year average of the endowment’s value.
The current formula can’t guarantee a steady annual payment. A study commissioned by state Treasurer Doug Ducey’s office showed it has fluctuated in recent years. Two years ago, the fund provided no money for the state’s K-12 system, despite the fact the fund was worth more than $3 billion. Last year, the distribution was nearly $18 million.
“This fixes it,” Ducey said. “We won’t have these years of zero distribution.”