Education funding needs more information
In Sunday’s edition of the Yuma Sun there were two articles on education funding in Arizona and Yuma County. A lot of figures on items such as classroom spending, administration spending, number of students per teacher, cost of meals, building capacity, plant operations and transportation costs, etc. The articles did a good job of demonstrating that costs overall are going up while available funding is not.
I believe most taxpayers see this same problem each day. Costs for most all goods go up while paychecks remain stagnant with rarely a cost of living adjustment. However, the omission in both articles of any reference to teacher compensation (wages plus benefits) might not provide a complete picture of where our tax dollars are spent in education.
For example, how much is spent on teacher compensation as a percentage of total educational spending in Yuma County and in Arizona? Has teacher compensation remained stagnant or has it increased and by how much during the period 2001 to 2012 (the period highlighted in the front page chart)?
It is important to taxpayers who may be asked in the future to support higher spending on education (and possible tax increases to support it) to have a complete picture of where the dollars are spent in education.
George K. Blackwell