Model Background

Reason Foundation’s Arizona K-12 Funding Reform Model estimates the financial effects of potential changes to Arizona’s Education Equalization Formula and local sources of revenue. Users can explore the implications of funding reforms for the state’s individual school districts and charter schools in both total and per-pupil terms. This tool is intended only to provide estimates for policymakers and researchers.


Equalization Assistance/Base

The Arizona Department of Education produces a report called the Basic School Aid-55 (BSA-55) report. This report is used to calculate the equalization base and assistance that is provided to school districts. The report contains information on student populations, enrollment status, base support level, and transportation support level.

The BSA-55 is reported as both a PDF and aggregated data files. The data used here come from the aggregated “Data Extract” files. The data files are available on the Arizona Department of Education’s website. There are multiple observations for each district/charter. For those looking to replicate results, for districts the observation used in the model have a “PaymentHeaderID” of 949 and “CalculationTypeId” of 4. For charters, the “PaymentHeaderID” is 946 and “CalculationTypeId” is 4. These observations align with the October 2023 BSA-55 report.

Total Revenue

Total revenue is calculated as the sum of equalization assistance and local revenue. Local revenue data are derived from the Superintendent’s Annual Financial Report (SAFR) for fiscal year 2021-2022. NOTE: This SAFR report is one year behind the current fiscal year.


Arizona’s current transportation funding figure, the Transportation Revenue Control Limit (TRCL), is taken from district BSA-55 reports. The TRCL figures are calculated under the state formula based on counts of transportation eligible students and average distance transported. The model assumes that all districts receive their full TRCL amount.

District-to-Charter Formula

This window allows users to evaluate whether districts would receive higher funding if they were funded under the charter school funding formula. The view simulates a scenario where all districts forego local tax levies outside of the formula and receive charter additional assistance (CAA) amounts instead of district additional assistance amounts (DAA). Note that any changes made in the Model Inputs would apply also to the district-to-charter formula view.

Questions, Comments, or Concerns?

As mentioned above, this tool is intended to provide estimates for policymakers and researchers. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact Jordan Campbell and/or Christian Barnard.