Tempe Union Changing How They Fund School Sports

By Jonathan Saxon| Dec. 8, 2015

Tempe Union High School District passed a capital override to change how school sports are funded.

Schools currently receive $50,000 and $22,500 from the district.

Next year, school sports funding will be measured based on student population size.

An Arizona school district is changing how it funds the sports programs at its schools next year.

Tempe Union School District recently passed a capital override, allowing them to make changes to how high school athletics in the area are funded.

Currently, the budget for athletics at Tempe Union high schools comes from two places. The district’s Capital budget provides each school with $50,000. Another $22,500 comes from Maintenance and Operations. Each school receives those amounts regardless of student population size.

Dr. Anna Battle, the Assistant Superintendent for athletics, believes that the old way of funding needs to change.

“Those numbers have been in existence for far too long, there’s no method or madness to where those numbers came from,” she said.

It was thought that this method of distributing money was the fairest way of funding the schools. However, while every school gets the same amount from the district, the money may not be enough to cover the needs of the bigger schools.

“They just said ‘okay, let’s be consistent,’ says Dr. Battle. “Well, that practice is not equitable, so principals on some sites were having to spend more to help support because they have more kids, where as other sites that money was satisfactory cause they had less kids.”

The capital override would enable the district to change its current funding method of giving every school a set amount to a new system based on the number of kids in a school’s population. The change will take effect next school year.

A brief graph to show the total money spent on Tempe Union High School District Sports in 2014.