Phoenix, Arizona - On May 17, 2016, Arizona voters approved a landmark education-funding package to infuse $3.5 billion dollars into the K-12 education system over the next 10 years, without raising taxes. On May 26, the election results were certified and Proposition 123 was signed into law.
Proposition 123 was referred to the ballot after Governor Doug Ducey called a special legislative session last October. The goal was clear: to permanently establish certainty for K-12 funding and resolve an ongoing lawsuit over education funding. It was time to stop paying lawyers, and start paying teachers.
So How Does The Increase In Funding Work?
When Arizona became a state, the federal government granted our founders nearly 11 million acres of state land. Every time we sell a piece of that land, proceeds go into the Land Trust, where the money is invested and earns interest. Although this trust exists specifically to benefit education, under former Arizona law, education received just 2.5 percent annually from the value of the trust.
Proposition 123 maximizes the State Land Trust by increasing the distribution to 6.9% for 10 years, giving Arizona schools nearly half a billion dollars in the next 13 months, and $3.5 billion over the next decade. This plan ensures we are managing the trust responsibly while putting more of this money toward its intended purpose: funding our schools. That means providing teachers the resources they’ve been asking for, without raising taxes on hardworking Arizonans.
Where Will The Money Go?
Soon, additional money will start flowing directly into our schools, teachers will get much-deserved pay raises, and students will benefit from the increase of dollars in the classroom. With the passage of Proposition 123, Arizona has taken a historic first step to provide schools with the necessary resources to continue providing Arizona students with a quality education.