Rural Arizona School Districts Losing Students, State Money
Many rural school districts in Arizona are losing students, which means they’re also losing state funding.
Numbers compiled by the Arizona School Boards Association find counties with declining enrollment have lost more than $13 million since 2015.
That’s compounded, the group says, by a change in state law that allocates per-student funding based on real-time enrollment, rather than the previous year’s.
Anabel Aportela is director of research for the Arizona School Boards Association and crunched the numbers.
Among those districts that’s seen these changes first-hand is the Pima Unified School District.
It has about 825 K-12th-grade students near Safford, in Graham County.
Sean Rickert is the district’s superintendent. He's also an executive board Member of the Arizona Rural Schools Association.