For the second year in a row, Arizona saw an increase in classroom spending, according to the Arizona Auditor General’s annual audit.
Arizona school districts spent 54% of their available operating dollars on classroom instruction, making 2018 the second consecutive year to increase classroom spending. Since monitoring began in 2001, the highest level spent on instructional spending was in 2004 at 58.6%. Since this peak, classroom spending has declined by 4.6%.
From 2017 to 2018, Arizona school districts increased their operational spending by $119 million, with $82 million of the increase spent on classroom instruction. The state’s average teacher salary also increased from $48,372 to $48,951.
[D]despite the progress, Arizona school districts still fall behind the national average. Schools statewide spent about $3,500 less per student than the national average. Arizona school districts also received a greater percentage of revenue from federal sources and a smaller percentage from state and local sources when compared to national averages.