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School district financial risk analysis—December 2023

As of December 21, 2023, 4 Arizona school districts are at higher financial risk than other Arizona school districts based on analysis of 10 financial risk measures. All 4 highest-risk districts are experiencing risk related to operating and capital budget limit reserves and General Fund change in fund balance, while 3 of the districts are also experiencing risk from decreasing student counts and frozen property tax rates.

Last year, we found that 3 Arizona school districts were at higher financial risk—2 of last year’s highest-risk districts, Cedar Unified School District and Double Adobe Elementary School District, improved enough to be removed from the current highest-risk districts list, generally by improving their budgetary reserves and financial position. Like nearly all Arizona districts, these previously high-risk districts reported using COVID-19 federal relief monies in fiscal years (FY) 2021 through 2023, contributing to improved budgetary reserves and financial positions after FY 2020, when they first received relief monies.

We provide our analysis results and the underlying data for the highest-risk districts and other Arizona school districts in an interactive, user-friendly, web-based format. This format will allow you to easily view detailed information for a single district or more summarized information for all districts State-wide, by county, or by legislative district. Links to the website can be found under “Additional Links” on the right side of this page. Additionally, users can view the December 2023 data file and a financial risk action plan template under “Additional Documents” on the right side of this page.