Supporting Arizona Women’s Economic Self-Sufficiency
An Analysis of Funding for Programs that Assist Low-Income Women in Arizona – and the Impact of those Programs
Report Produced for the Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona
by the Grand Canyon Institute
Research Fellow Molly Castelazo
Last year, the Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona endeavored to catalogue the state-funded and/or state-implemented programs in Arizona that have the effect of supporting the economic self-sufficiency of low-income women. Our aim was to analyze both funding for those programs and their impact, as measured in economic terms (return on investment).
Much changed over our original study period (2007-2012). Has much changed in the last year?
This year, we endeavored to answer that question by updating our collected data, adding in the year 2013. In this section we briefly highlight how funding and outcomes have changed between 2012 and 2013. Within the report, all data that has been updated is highlighted blue.
1.1 What changed (or didn’t) in 2013
|Δ 2007-2013||Δ 2012-2013|
|é||Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS)||Some programs eliminated; others frozen||Coverage restored January 2014|
|é||Adult Education||Funding eliminated in 2010||Funding restored in 2013|
|é||Child support enforcement services||-6.5%||+8.7%|
|è||Childcare subsidies||Funding eliminated; program frozen||Still no funding|
|è||Targeted early childhood education||Funding repealed||Still no funding|
|ê||Joint Technical Education District (JTED) programs||-7.1%||-0.1%|
|ê||Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs||-12%||-1.8%|
|ê||Temporary Aid for Needy Families (TANF)||-25%||-1%|
|ê||Housing programs supporting low-income Arizonans||-56%||-71%|
|ê||Services for victims of domestic violence||-16%||-6%|
1.1.1 Funding improved 2012-13
Healthcare – Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS)
- Some programs eliminated; others frozen*
- *Coverage restored January 2014
In 2009, Arizona imposed the largest AHCCCS spending reductions in the state’s history. Those cuts included the elimination of health insurance coverage for nearly 10,000 parents with income between 100 and 200 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL); a freeze on enrollment for childless (non-custodial) adults in the state’s Medicaid program; and an enrollment freeze for the state’s health insurance program for children with income levels too high to qualify them for AHCCCS (for children 6 and older, that is 100% FPL).
Increases in federal funding tempered dramatic declines in state funding between 2009 and 2011. In 2013, state funding for AHCCCS accounted for 32 percent of total funding; the majority of funding came from the federal government. State funding prior to the recession was at about the same level – 33 percent of total funding in 2007 and 2008. In 2009, 2010, and 2011, however, the federal government accounted for a larger share of total funding; the state share was 23, 21, and 24 percent – respectively. In 2012, the state’s share of funding increased to 31%.
The increase in state share of funding in 2012 and 2013 was not due to a relative expansion of state spending, but due to the federal government’s pullback of aid it had offered to the states during the height of the recession. Between 2008 and 2009, federal AHCCCS funding increased 16.4 percent. Between 2011 and 2012, as the federal government pulled back its aid, federal AHCCCS funding decreased 14.8 percent.
The freeze on AHCCCS Care enrollment for childless adults remained in effect through the end of 2013. On January 1, 2014, Arizona restored Proposition 204 coverage to childless adults living below the FPL and expanded coverage to adults earning up to 133% of the FPL as well as children with family incomes up to 133 percent of the FPL. Thus over the period of 30 months Arizona will have implemented the largest cuts in the history of the program and had to manage the restoration of many of those reductions.
For full details, see Section 4.3.
Adult Education – state funding
- Funding eliminated in 2010 then restored in 2013
In 2010, the state cut funding for adult education programs, and in doing so risked elimination of the federal matching funds, which at the time amounted to $11 million. Some of the community colleges stepped in and allocated federal stimulus funds to serve as a temporary funding “match” to what the state had cut, allowing Arizona to keep its federal match. The state restored funding to the programs in 2013.
It’s not likely, however, that a restoration of funding will suffice to meet all of the need that exists. The number of people on the waitlist for Adult Education services did decline between 2012 and 2013 – 9.4 percent. Nevertheless, in every year of our study period, including 2013, there was a waitlist. The number of individuals on the waitlist increased 1.7 percent between 2007 and 2013.
For full details, see Section 6.4.
Community colleges – state funding
- 2007-2013: -58%
- 2012-2013: +1.5%
State funding for community colleges was 58 percent lower in 2013 than in 2007. However, funding increased slightly between 2012 and 2013 – up 1.5 percent. The trend was the same on a per-student basis. Between 2007 and 2013, state funding for community colleges per Full Time Student Equivalent (FTSE) declined 63 percent. Between 2012 and 2013, funding per student increased 7.2 percent.
The number of students enrolled at Arizona’s community colleges increased 13.2 percent between 2007 and 2013. Between 2012 and 2013 there were 5.3 percent fewer students.
For full details, see Section 5.6.
Child support enforcement services – state funding
- 2007-2013: -6.5%
- 2012-2013: +8.7%
Child support has been demonstrated to reduce mothers’ reliance on government programs. According to research by the U.S. Census Bureau, for parents living below poverty, child support was an essential source of income – representing 62.6 percent of the average income for custodial parents below poverty who received full support.
Overall between 2007 and 2013, state appropriations for Child Support Enforcement services fell 6.5 percent, a total decline of $1.3 million. Between 2012 and 2013, however, state appropriations rose 8.7 percent. Over the entire period, total child support enforcement collections increased 7.0 percent, from $630 million in 2007 to $674 million in 2013.
For full details, see Section 7.2.
1.1.2 No change in funding 2012-13
Childcare subsidies – state funding
- Funding still eliminated; program still frozen
Without a childcare subsidy, many single mothers – certainly those with income at or below 165 percent of the FPL – could not afford to leave the home for education or work, and these are activities that promote the economic self-sufficiency of women and their children over the long run. Yet the importance of work as a means of economic self-sufficiency is clear: “Employment is the surest means to avoid poverty, if one can secure full-time work and keep it all year.”
Yet between 2007 and 2013, total funding (from all sources) for subsidized childcare declined 36 percent. That fall is driven by declines in state General Fund (GF) funding, which dropped from $75 million in 2007 to $0 in 2012 and 2013. That does not include funding for childcare subsidies under the Child Protective Services and Jobs Child Care programs – the only two programs to have received more funding in 2013 than in 2007 (see Section 4.2).
Those funding cuts directly impacted Arizona’s children and their mothers: At the end of state fiscal year 2013 there were 6,407 families on the waiting list to receive subsidized childcare. That waiting list represents 32 percent of the total population of families served and unserved by the program, and does not include the families who have not applied but would be eligible if the program were not .
For full details, see Section 4.2.
Targeted early childhood education – state funding
- Funding still repealed
Despite the very high positive returns that early childhood education demonstrates, Arizona completely eliminated state funding for early childhood education programs, repealing the Arizona Early Childhood Block Grant (ECBG) allocation in 2010. ECBG funding remains repealed.
Declines in state funding for early childhood education were partially offset by increases in federal funding; the federal government now funds 100 percent of Arizona’s Head Start and Early Head Start programs. Funding increased 11 percent between 2007 and 2013. However, much of that increase was part of the ARRA stimulus package and is already being rolled back – funding declined 5 percent between 2012 and 2013.
First Things First (FTF) continued to provide substantial funding for early childhood education programs in 2013. Funded by a voter-initiated 80-cent tax on tobacco products, FTF has helped to fill in the gap left by the state’s elimination of funding. FTF funding grew 246 percent between its first year and 2012. Between 2012 and 2013, funding rose 14 percent. First Things First is now the largest single funder of early childhood education programs in the .
For full details, see Section 5.2.
1.1.3 Funding cuts worsened 2012-13
K-12 education – per-student state funding
- 2007-2013: -14.7%
- 2012-2013: -1%
In 2013, the median annual earnings for Arizona women with a high school diploma was $6,993 more than the median annual earnings for Arizona women who did not graduate from high school. Over a 50-year career, that difference amounts to more than $349,650.
Despite the very clear benefits of quality K-12 education, Arizona decreased state funding for those programs by 4.7 percent overall and 14.7 percent on a per-student basis between 2007 and 2013. Some of the state’s funding decreases were made up for by federal and local dollars. Still, total funding decreased 1.8 percent overall and 5 percent per student. It wasn’t only during the worst years of the recession that state funding decreased. Between 2012 and 2013, state funding for K-12 education declined another 1 percent per student.
Exacerbating the declines in funding from formula programs, non-formula programs, AZ Dept. of Education administration, School Facilities Board (SFB) funding, and miscellaneous is the state’s systemic underfunding of education relative to the Proposition 301 formula. Prop. 301, passed in 2000, requires that the legislature increase education funding annually to account for inflation. The legislature has not done that since fiscal year 2009.
In 2013, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled in Cave Creek Unified School District v. Ducey in favor of the coalition of Arizona school districts and education organizations that had filed a lawsuit in June 2010 to compel the legislature to meet its obligation to fund Prop. 301. The Supreme Court ruled that the legislature violated the Voter Protection Act when it only provided a partial increase that was less than the inflationary requirement.
Estimates peg the level of underfunding for the current school year at more than $300 million. The estimated level of accumulated underfunding is $1.4 billion. The state has yet to deliver any of those funds.
For full details, see Section 5.3.
Universities – per-student state funding
- 2007-2013: -39%
- 2012-2013: -3%
In total, state funding for Arizona’s three public universities declined by 28 percent between 2007 and 2013 and increased 1 percent between 2012 and 2013. But on a per-student basis, state funding was down 39 percent between 2007 and 2013 and down 3 percent between 2012 and 2013.
Universities are particularly vulnerable to funding cuts. Because of state funding formulas for Medicaid and K-12 education and mandatory sentencing in prisons, higher education is one of the most vulnerable areas during budget crises. The same is true for other non-formula funded programs such as the Early Childhood Block Grant that had funded early childhood education before the state legislature repealed it.
In cutting funding by 28 percent, the state shifted a greater share of the burden of higher education onto the universities themselves and, in turn, onto the students. Tuition and fees for resident undergraduates increased 81 percent between 2007 and 2013. In 2007 the average of annual resident undergrad tuition and fees across the three universities was $4,502. By 2013, it was $8,154.
Financial aid rose between 2007 and 2013, too – 75 percent in total. Theoretically, those increases would maintain higher education accessibility for low-income women who might otherwise struggle with 81 percent higher tuition and fees. But the state cannot take credit; state funding for financial aid declined 86 percent – from $12.6 million in 2007 to $1.73 million in 2013. State funding for financial aid continued declining between 2012 and 2013 – down 6.5 percent.
For full details, see Section 5.7.
Joint Technical Education District (JTED) programs – per-student state funding
- 2007-2013: -7.1%
- 2012-2013: -0.1%
Overall, funding for JTED programs in Arizona rose 24 percent between 2007 and 2013. Program enrollment, as measured by Average Daily Membership (ADM), rose 33 percent. So on a per-student basis, funding for JTED actually declined 7.1 percent.
Between 2007 and 2013, the share of contributions by funding source changed significantly. In 2007, the state contributed $57 million to the total of $79 million in funding – a share of 72 percent. In 2013, the state contributed more money – $60 million – but its contribution as a share of the total was 60 percent. The counties picked up a significant amount of the slack; while their contribution is still relatively low ($7.5 million of the $97.5 million total in 2013), their share has risen from almost nothing to 7.5 percent.
For full details, see Section 6.3.
Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs – per-student state funding
- 2007-2013: -12%
- 2012-2013: -1.8%
Between 2007 and 2013, state funding for CTE programs through the State Block Grant for Vocational Education increased 1 percent, not accounting for inflation. Federal funding through the Federal Perkins Vocational Education Basic Grant increased only 1 percent as well. Measured on a per-student basis, total funding for CTE programs declined 12 percent. Between 2012 and 2013, funding declined just under 2 percent.
For full details, see Section 6.3.
Temporary Aid for Needy Families (TANF) – monthly Cash Assistance payment
- 2007-2013: -25%
- 2012-2013: -1%
State funding for the Cash Assistance program decreased dramatically – 96 percent between 2007 and 2013. As a result of Arizona’s dramatic cuts to TANF Cash Assistance, participation in the program decreased significantly. In comparison, participation rose nationwide.
In Arizona, participation in TANF Cash Assistance decreased significantly during a period when – by the program’s stated goal of providing a stopgap in periods of economic crisis – it should have been increasing. The decline in TANF Cash Assistance cases was not a national phenomenon. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, between December 2007 and December 2011 – when Arizona’s TANF caseload declined by 54% – the national caseload grew by 10 percent.
Beyond declines in participation, benefits have declined substantially as well. The average monthly payment per family fell 25 percent between 2007 and 2013 – from $275.83 to $207.27. In 2013, the average monthly payment was 30 percent lower than the average monthly payment of $296.30 in 1997. Taking inflation into account, the decline is substantially more severe. According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, nationwide the median TANF benefit level in 2011 was 24 percent lower in real terms than in 1996. The benefit erosion was deeper in Arizona: in 2011, Arizona’s average benefit level was 46 percent lower in real terms than in 1996.
For full details, see Section 7.3.
Housing programs supporting low-income Arizonans – dollar commitments
- 2007-2013: -56%
- 2012-2013: -71%
Between 2007 and 2013, funding for housing programs decreased 56 percent. By itself, that decrease could be deceptive; between 2007 and 2012, funding actually rose 53 percent. Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits ended in 2013, cutting that source of funding from $210 million in 2012 to $15 million in 2013.
Despite the fact that $952 million went to funding Low Income Housing Tax Credits in Arizona between 2007 and 2013, housing affordability has worsened. Among the lowest income households (those with incomes of less than $20,000) who owned a home in 2013, 68 percent spent 30 percent or more of their income on housing. Among renters at that income level, 93 percent spent 30 percent or more of their income on housing. Those who spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing are considered “housing stressed.”
For full details, see Section 8.2.
Services for victims of domestic violence – victims served
- 2008-2013: -16%
- 2012-2013: -6%
The number of people served by programs for victims of domestic violence between 2008 and 2013 depends on which metric is considered. On one hand, the total number of adults and children served by the various programs declined over 16 percent. On the other hand, in 2013 compared to 2008, Arizona provided 5.7 percent more nights of shelter; 13 percent more hours of case management, counseling, and advocacy; and fielded 1.2 percent more hotline calls for victims of domestic violence.
Funding for services for victims of domestic violence in Arizona was relatively stable between 2007 and 2013. Total funding increased 1.3 percent. In real terms – taking inflation into account – funding declined. The agency that spent the most on such services – the Department of Economic Security – spent 5.8 percent less in 2013 than 2007. (That decline was made up for by the Department of Public Safety; Governor’s Office for Children, Youth, and Families; Department of Health Services; and Criminal Justice Commission, which together increased funding by 24 percent.)
For full details, see Section 8.3.
Can the state afford to res
 Proposition 204 is a voter-approved initiative that expanded AHCCCS coverage to persons (effectively childless adults) with income at or below 100% FPL.
 Additional resources for the impact of the Affordable Care Act on AHCCCS include Burns & Associates, Inc. (2012), Stall, J., and Upston, A. (2013), Grand Canyon Institute (2013), and Grand Canyon Institute (2012).
 Support Adult Basic Ed Arizona (2013).
 Urban Institute. (2013).
 The state also de-funded full-day kindergarten, which demonstrates similar long-term benefits as early childhood education.
 In 2006, Arizona voters established the Early Childhood Development and Health Board, known as First Things First (FTF) to provide early childhood health and education support to Arizona’s low-income families. The program is funded by an 80-cent per pack increase on tobacco products, which is dedicated to First Things First.
 U.S. Census Bureau, 2013 American Community Survey
 Average Daily Membership, or ADM, is a count of resident and state-placed students who receive an elementary or secondary education at public expense.
 Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (2013). Arizona TANF Caseload Fact Sheet.