Create Flexibility for Workforce Development and Address Expenditure Limit Crisis
Structural Changes to Arizona’s Community Colleges Expenditure Limitation
AC4 supports legislative efforts to develop changes to the Expenditure Limitation formula that better reflect the costs associated with providing high quality workforce training, considers the overall cost structure of 21st century community colleges in general and provides the colleges with the ability to spend revenues they collect to meet the needs of students, employers, and the institutions themselves.
2023 EL Priorities: Develop structural changes to EL that meet the needs of all colleges
- Reengage legal counsel to assist in developing options for structural changes that are solidly constitutional
- Explore, with guidance from legal counsel, additional options for structural changes to address expenditure limitation, including moving from GDP to CPI and additional exclusions.
- Explore potential ballot language to address community college expenditure limit.
Two-year extension of reduced penalties for exceeding expenditure limitation.
Invest in Education and Workforce Development
Budget and Funding
Community Colleges were successful in restoring STEM funding for Maricopa, Pima and Central Arizona colleges. For the first time since these funds were cut in 2016, STEM is now an ongoing, sustainable funding source for all 10 community colleges. Further, as part of a package of adult education initiatives, Arizona’s community colleges will receive $6.0 m annually to provide additional student supports and enhanced job training within college ABE programs.
In addition, the FY 22/23 budget, the legislature also appropriated monies to expand nursing workforce at community colleges and universities as well as providing an additional $7.0 m in one-time aid to the 8 rural colleges, based on FTSE.
2023 Budget Priorities: maintain existing funding and explore options to enhance
- AC4 supports continued funding for these workforce programs, including continuation of the STEM & Workforce funding for Maricopa, Pima and Central Arizona colleges (in baseline budget as of 22-23) and increased Rural Aid funding. Additionally, AC4 supports parity for Maricopa and Pima Community Colleges M & O funding.
- AC4 supports continued legislative efforts and policy initiatives that enhance partnerships with businesses, industry representatives and educational institutions, provided that decision making remain at the discretion of the local district governing board, or college administration.
Expand Dual Enrollment & Early College Opportunities
Dual enrollment was a topic of conversation during the 2022 legislative session. Unfortunately, the focus was solely on affordability for students and community college tuition. AC4 has taken a more holistic approach to growing dual enrollment, this approach includes the following:
- Reinstate full operational funding for all 10 colleges (dual enrollment students are currently funded at 50% of formula)
- Consider utilizing 50% of full funding to support enhancement and expansion of dual enrollment opportunities—incentives for K12’s to enter into IGAs; teacher stipends; additional tuition assistance for students.
- Explore additional options including:
- scholarship programs for dual enrollment students,
- Incentives for K12 teachers to get necessary certification to teach dual enrollment
- Consider funding incentives, including transportation, for CTED and other concurrent enrollment
- teacher stipends and state reimbursement for student tuition
- Community colleges will be prepared to work with other key stakeholders who support expansion of DE to bring about positive changes in funding and access for these statewide programs in the 2023 legislative session.
2023 Early College Priorities: Expand Dual Enrollment and Early College Opportunities through enhanced funding for colleges, K12’s and teachers.