NEPC Review: A Roadmap to Fix Arizona School Finance: Steering the Grand Canyon State Toward Fairness and Innovation in K-12 Education (Reason Foundation, February 2020)
A report from the Reason Foundation walks the reader through a calculation of Arizona’s complex school finance formula, pointing out a number of funding inequities. The report provides 16 far-ranging policy recommendations that its author argues will improve the “transparency, equity, and effectiveness of Arizona’s school finance system." As a whole, the policy recommendations amount to a fundamental overhaul of Arizona’s school finance system. Yet the report is not a credible policy document because it does not provide any assessment of the impact of any of the recommendations. The report’s usefulness is also undermined by the lack of coordination among the multitude of policy recommendations, which may entice legislators to pick and choose which recommendations to implement and which to ignore, lending itself to the exact type of piecemeal approach that created Arizona’s inequitable school finance formula in the first place.