How Much Does an Arizona Public School Education Cost? Report Brings Transparency to Education Finance

Posted on January 19, 2005 | Type: Press Release
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PHOENIX-A new analysis of Arizona public school financing shows average total spending for an Arizona public school student is between $8,500 and $9,000. The report, co-published by the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation and the Goldwater Institute, presents information from the Arizona Department of Education's multiple accounting systems in a clear, straightforward way that is readily accessible to parents, taxpayers, and policymakers.

"This timely and path-breaking study demystifies one of the most important yet complex subjects in Arizona public policy: how much we are spending on our state's K-12 education system and how we're spending it," said Clint Bolick, Goldwater Institute senior fellow and president of the Alliance for School Choice. "The study reveals that we are spending far more than almost anyone thinks. It points the way toward a system in which children, not bureaucracies, are the true beneficiaries of education spending."

The report compiles data from the Arizona Department of Education for all 218 regular Arizona public school districts to determine how much funding is tied to students when they enter the public school system or change districts, and shows fixed and variable expenditures. An accompanying online interactive database allows anyone to easily access per-student funding figures.

"This report creates the foundation on which to intelligently address the urgent question of whether the vast amount of money we're investing in Arizona public schools is attaining the goal of high-quality educational opportunities for all children," said Bolick.

The report, A Guide to Understanding State Funding of Arizona Public School Students, is available online at


Andrea Woodmansee, Director of Communications, Goldwater Institute, (602) 712-1257,
 Robert Fanger, Director of Communications, Friedman Foundation, office: (317) 681-0745, mobile: (317) 410-7668,

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