The Arizona Citizens for the Arts Board of Directors has voted to endorse Governor Doug Ducey’s plan to inject $3.5 billion into Arizona public schools, largely from state land trust funds.

Voters will be asked to approve Proposition 123 in a May 17 special election.  The measure, approved by the Arizona legislature during an October special session, settles a 2010 education funding lawsuit and provides schools with a reliable and increased funding stream.

“While there is still much to be done to continue to improve Arizona’s education system, this certainly is a solid step in the right direction to fund critical needs in K-12 public schools,” said Arizona Citizens for the Arts Executive Director Catherine “Rusty” Foley. “Proposition 123 will positively impact school resources in every area, including those for arts education programs.”

Proposition 123 would raise base per-pupil funding to $3,600 a year without raising taxes. It also provides additional annual appropriations and increases K-12 funding from the state land trust. If approved by voters, schools will receive funding as early as June 2016. Many supporters view Proposition 123 as an opportunity to begin removing Arizona from the list of 25 states that have yet fund to education above pre-recession spending levels.

“With Prop 123, Arizona can begin to reverse the trend of declining spending to ensure that Arizona children receive the quality of education that we expect and they deserve,” Foley said. “Arizona Citizens for the Arts will continue to engage with business leaders, education groups and others to seek greater education funding and to ensure that the critical contributions of arts education receive deserved recognition.”