How Did Your District Do? Classroom, Operations Spending Rises In Arizona

Every year, the Arizona Auditor General release its annual report on classroom spending. Teachers’ salaries have increased as have those for administrators.

The Auditor General finding highlights:

In fiscal year 2018, Arizona districts spent 54 percent of available operating dollars on instruction—the second consecutive increase in the instructional spending percentage in 14 years. However, since its peak in fiscal year 2004, the State’s instructional spending percentage has declined 4.6 percentage points, while the percentages spent on all other operational areas have increased. Between fiscal years 2017 and 2018, districts’ operational spending increased by $119 million with $82 million of the increase spent on instruction. With the additional instructional spending, between fiscal years 2017 and 2018, the State’s average teacher salary increased from $48,372 to $48,951.

The Auditor General’s Office generates a 2-page summary for each district and the State showing their performance on various financial and student measures and graphical summaries of their operational trends.

How did your district do? In this table, each school’s report is embedded with a side-by-side view of instructional versus administration per pupil spending in years 2017 and 2018:

School District2017 %ADMIN $INSTRUCT $2018 %ADMIN $INSTRUCT $
Agua Fria Union High52.5710377553.57333960
Aguila Elementary 581375560358.315745958
Ajo Unified53.81306422252.914924715
Alhambra Elementary 56.4777493952.77954432
Alpine Elementary 59.73222987658.3338110206
Altar Valley Elementary45.71393490945.813594843
Amphitheater Unified 53.1694437453.77164455
Antelope Union High51.12074639948.622396813
Apache Elementary 54.9241525914239.7657210557
Apache Junction Unified 54.17284080537694166
Arlington Elementary 54.11076565054.212575616
Ash Creek Elementary 33.985111039836.1697310713
Ash Fork Joint Unified 49.32274533549.921235978
Avondale Elementary50.9914394251.410984505
Baboquivari Unified 42.72560727640.924436657
Bagdad Unified 56.5251972495522576947
Balsz Elementary 49.1119246964812894929
Beaver Creek Elementary 49.4967482849.99664574
Benson Unified 50.89584100538934313
Bicentennial Union High 49.11849662349.321057577
Bisbee Unified 50.5129552805114295339
Blue Elementary 78.75960778.1513289
Blue Ridge Unified 51.9943413451.910924393
Bonita Elementary 61.72887934961.9366711701
Bouse Elementary 34.95280857844.7594211109
Bowie Unified45.45330989936.479988737
Buckeye Elementary 51.48643793509583816
Buckeye Union High 54.2737469654.67154709
Bullhead City Elementary54.81094431056.310384344
Camp Verde Unified56.7682445656.67064651
Cañon Elementary53.41965642450.921506202
Cartwright Elementary55.9792439155.28464603
Casa Grande Elementary49.5746362551.18254214
Casa Grande Union High47.4995406446.510063900
Catalina Foothills Unified53.9919384554.87983788
Cave Creek Unified53.7841392353.38593880
Cedar Unified38.762851131735.454658924
Chandler Unified60.6597440261.66134606
Chinle Unified48.5125566294812216523
Chino Valley Unified51.5819388449.68623678
Clarkdale-Jerome Elementary57.7762462859.98054899
Cochise Elementary60.221041075759.5235612346
Colorado City Unified54.41167552454.110695247
Colorado River Union High50.81010430952.38984230
Concho Elementary42.72311699444.624287996
Congress Elementary50.9232778065523437947
Continental Elementary55.31343517354.513104865
Coolidge Unified47.3126743544910564447
Cottonwood-Oak Creek Elementary53.51067425152.410494351
Crane Elementary48.8822331851.88123680
Creighton Elementary47.5910412546.69274036
Crown King Elementary59.42493887959.9347011316
Deer Valley Unified60733448359.87384542
Double Adobe Elementary64.22135864662.923559339
Douglas Unified49.81019376051.19393637
Duncan Unified472156473745.521234609
Dysart Unified56.2661410656.16804197
Elfrida Elementary521479540848.815785295
Eloy Elementary46.91350425945.112264063
Flagstaff Unified51.97884505537694657
Florence Unified51.9781369053.47324097
Flowing Wells Unified53.8828411754.58154199
Fountain Hills Unified51.11273421050.413084306
Fowler Elementary54.4873430352.98934258
Fredonia-Moccasin Unified50.11781540151.718555989
Ft. Thomas Unified49.62241725051.819567729
Gadsden Elementary48.8847359048.88913719
Ganado Unified45.32685653642.324785582
Gila Bend Unified41.22120462246.623125656
Gilbert Unified60.1628446561.15834616
Glendale Elementary52.5808394349.39123686
Glendale Union High57.3627475657.86374927
Globe Unified48.81044382848.910833967
Grand Canyon Unified41.23632688138.446816946
Hackberry Elementary43.74811873242.5781111485
Hayden-Winkelman Unified47.21896661246.519326988
Heber-Overgaard Unified51.31445507050.713194967
Higley Unified59.8664386557.88753925
Hillside Elementary67.822501010865.818568942
Holbrook Unified53.891558705410286026
Humboldt Unified54.7631402156.16664244
Hyder Elementary45.428771061752.1290011749
Isaac Elementary51.81027471051.711294992
J.O. Combs Unified49.2749335550.47303584
Joseph City Unified45.81510567944.615425633
Kayenta Unified37.31621558540.618466882
Kingman Unified50.6745349352.16943776
Kirkland Elementary53.1199770395424498782
Kyrene Elementary60.4586449462.36744685
Lake Havasu Unified56.1778373756.58894217
Laveen Elementary54764396851.77473789
Liberty Elementary57.1745397156.88244210
Litchfield Elementary58.5620389157.26533911
Littlefield Unified49.61637460253.315735053
Littleton Elementary52834398852.57993958
Madison Elementary51.3985364853.29173962
Maine Consolidated53.72036932753.320309532
Mammoth-San Manuel Unified50.81124458452.111224812
Marana Unified54.1820425253.38774263
Maricopa Unified51.5637370553.56994165
Mayer Unified49.81632537550.116725982
McNary Elementary55.82331856155.523048639
McNeal Elementary45.42296548944.424805724
Mesa Unified55.2682453555.46974599
Miami Unified54.5116241335312424418
Mingus Union High58.3875441356.88614219
Mobile Elementary37.2103231261138.31215515326
Mohave Valley Elementary47.5863411549.59914843
Mohawk Valley Elementary48.21776472046.620125149
Morenci Unified591361532060.413365420
Morristown Elementary52.12035816553.513855567
Murphy Elementary45.41705480348.413655241
Naco Elementary59.2811483155.410644800
Nadaburg Unified47.21315434347.113874365
Nogales Unified51.2733370551.67553847
Oracle Elementary51.81304575150.716126127
Osborn Elementary52.68624647538504625
Owens-Whitney Elementary48.527981022449.1262510263
Page Unified44.8937410747.310564847
Palo Verde Elementary54.61199514155.811735228
Paloma Elementary 51.92367793251.222527702
Palominas Elementary52.11065434852.212114474
Paradise Valley Unified57651455758.56724846
Parker Unified51.1987471252.410175116
Patagonia Elementary48.52530946049.922418677
Patagonia Union High48.52530946049.922418677
Payson Unified52.2797418249.77623955
Peach Springs Unified33.5332439404237996202
Pearce Elementary55.92441767852.329938874
Pendergast Elementary53.6815396853.47863974
Peoria Unified56.9723428856.87344166
Phoenix Elementary49.81024551151.310615997
Phoenix Union High53.61056580553.311545783
Picacho Elementary49.11684460149.816134778
Pima Unified 62.3916437164.19214693
Pine Strawberry Elementary 54.534961365053428613359
Piñon Unified40198763603820465942
Pomerene Elementary47.82213441150.221034965
Prescott Unified50.2717375051.47283834
Quartzsite Elementary43.92047471840.519394264
Queen Creek Unified55.1744405454.78434085
Ray Unified54.31413535853.913965238
Red Mesa Unified38.13429715534.636286640
Red Rock Elementary56.21408452864.48224632
Riverside Elementary46.4145340004617354221
Roosevelt Elementary48.71096473849.611895019
Round Valley Unified50.7848399151.29054347
Sacaton Elementary46.627291000351.3278310134
Saddle Mountain Unified49.71052416753.59214717
Safford Unified64.58794776658254754
Sahuarita Unified55.5741377855.97664014
Salome Consolidated Elementary43.5189247264417305146
San Carlos Unified45.22310666743.323306392
San Fernando Elementary51.53062822654.9387710284
San Simon Unified50.82724272450.229288033
Sanders Unified42.72323694239.624406624
Santa Cruz Elementary49.7168247635017355127
Santa Cruz Valley Unified50.2764386951.57614238
Santa Cruz Valley Union High43.71480428441.615794578
Scottsdale Unified53.6788425454.47624400
Sedona-Oak Creek Joint Unified511047466352.312835477
Seligman Unified46.82282962346.624169492
Sentinel Elementary 50.434991682148.7403114749
Show Low Unified58.5653431058.76914421
Sierra Vista Unified54.3904418454.58474181
Skull Valley Elementary42.749771196847.933549446
Snowflake Unified57.1361257956.86193691
Solomon Elementary504723203449.319424562
Somerton Elementary503658101349.510333584
Sonoita Elementary61.211803392259.5401411655
St. David Unified52.45528162553.713835169
St. Johns Unified49.6125545595016174741
Stanfield Elementary43.91832458744.819154766
Sunnyside Unified49.53653800518013763
Superior Unified48.41857521050.218885324
Tanque Verde Unified5610054057589824534
Tempe Elementary52.1901470052.48804721
Tempe Union High54898433853.49084201
Thatcher Unified61.1758377460.67653932
Tolleson Elementary52.9940409751.99224262
Tolleson Union High53.3701348952.97593576
Toltec Elementary53.7928415851.97983739
Tombstone Unified44.91714414846.515374230
Tonto Basin Elementary43.260871034845.5667311778
Topock Elementary46.13302492349.533485435
Tuba City Unified42.21488535643.716665927
Tucson Unified50.91006464751.19294808
Union Elementary53873380852.59123936
Vail Unified51.4818380552.68414112
Valentine Elementary57.31985446754.320815375
Valley Union High53.52067785955.517568208
Vernon Elementary46.53095808546.529356728
Washington Elementary53.7690445553.86994553
Wellton Elementary51.11160504447.514194429
Wenden Elementary40.23502630643.337396434
Whiteriver Unified491073491347.810865147
Wickenburg Unified47935399248.510504184
Willcox Unified56.8111845005612074657
Williams Unified531354461454.713184736
Wilson Elementary56.81312681756.214486423
Window Rock Unified48.91562766548.115047401
Winslow Unified49.6981427950.89144470
Yarnell Elementary52.523951173951.325608959
Young Elementary52.788592051651.1863418303
Yucca Elementary55.72960896056.431299398
Yuma Elementary48.7875351649.39203574
Yuma Union High47.1823331648.88623471

Compared to national averages, in fiscal year 2018, Arizona districts spent about $3,500 less per pupil and allocated their resources differently, spending a lower percentage of resources on instruction and administration and a greater percentage on all other operational areas.

Did you know?

More efficient districts:
• Monitor performance measures to identify areas for improvement (see textbox below).
• Use staffing formulas.
• Effectively use county services or partner with other local schools or governments.
• Have energy conservation plans and limit excess building space, including closing schools when necessary.
• Monitor food prices, maximize the use of food commodities provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and modify menus appropriately.
• Limit food waste by using student input and daily production and usage information to determine meal production.
• Limit overtime and unproductive time by having employees perform other duties.
• Plan bus routes to ensure, where possible, the buses are filled to at least 75 percent of capacity.
• Ensure fuel pumps are secure, monitor fuel usage, and limit bus idling to lower costs.

Although factors outside a district’s control—such as district size, type, and location—can affect its efficiency, some districts operate efficiently and have lower costs despite these factors, while others do not. As a result, there are wide ranges of costs within peer groups of similar districts. Our performance audits of school districts have identified practices efficient districts use, as well as practices that make other districts less efficient. Additionally, analysis of 6 measures found 31 of 207 districts had a moderate or high financial stress level. District decision makers can use the details of this assessment in conjunction with other information, such as operational efficiency, to determine possible actions to reduce financial stress.

1 Comment

  1. These are not figures that the Teacher’s Union or
    Administrators want to have contemplated.

    In many cases it dispels the correlation between
    money spent and outcomes.

    Naturally, both groups in a self serving manner,
    promulgate throwing more money as the panacea to
    the declining educational outcomes that have
    been evident over the last 5 or 6 decades.

Comments are closed.