Agua Fria Union High School District governing board has approved an $88 million budget for fiscal year 2022.
The total budget limit of $88,546,396 is based on an enrollment of 8,590 students. Despite the pandemic, AFUHSD saw a 2% increase in enrollment from last fiscal year, the district said.
The district is expected to see a sizeable increase in per-student funding, from $434 last year to $733 per student this year, according to the district.
State funding to Arizona public and charter schools is based on the number and type of students enrolled. Many school district budgets suffered during the pandemic, when enrollment decreased by 50,000 students statewide.
Funding was further slashed in July 2020 when Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey issued an executive order reclassifying distance learners as online students, which are funded at a rate 5% lower than in-person students.
This year, state funding for the district increased slightly.
Maintenance and operations base support level increased almost 2% from $4,359.55 per student to $4,445.53 per student.
The state also increased their support level per school bus route mile 1.09% from $2.74 to $2.77.
The initial proposed budget for staff salaries was about $2.1 million, but was later increased to $2.47 million to account for pay increases as well as added positions.
Four additional TOSAs, or teachers on special assignment, were hired by the district to identify and help struggling students connect with mental health and counseling services. Ten such staff members are now employed with the district.
Teachers should see a small 0.5% pay increase. The projected average teacher salary this year will be $64,074 — $347 higher than last fiscal year, according to budget documents.
The district requested an increase in its primary tax levy to cover the cost of the $1.3 million adjacent ways budget, which is the result of a voter-approved bond to help build a new transportation and warehouse facility.
The money is budgeted toward installing streetlights and fixing surrounding curbs and sidewalks. The district approved the land purchase in Jan. 2021.
Homeowners in the district are expected to see $14.07 in annual primary property taxes for every $100,000 worth of home. Without the increase, the annual tax would be just $6.11.