By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Capitol Times
Arizona schools will divide up $270 million in federal cash to help them get started when classes resume.The plan by Gov. Doug Ducey includes $200 million from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act to protect schools against budget shortfalls due to anticipated declining enrollment.
In essence, it guarantees that schools will have at least 98 percent of the state aid they were getting this past school year.
That is crucial as state aid is based on the number of students in attendance. And a survey done last month by the political consulting firm of HighGround found 20 percent of adults with children in school said they would not send them back next year given fears of COVID-19.
And if 20 percent of a district’s students choose not to start when the doors open, that would normally translate to a 20 percent drop in aid. And with basic aid at $5,500 per student, that would have taken a real bite out of the money schools get.