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The Auditor General’s report showed that LESD spent most of its dollars on instruction (59.5 percent), instruction support (4.6 percent) and student support (5.9 percent). Instructional spending includes salaries and benefits for teachers, teachers’ aides, substitute teachers, student and teacher supplies, textbooks, workbooks and instructional software.

While LESD does a better job than its peers putting dollars in the classroom, the report also highlights that LESD does that while receiving less funding than comparable districts. LESD is provided $4,720 per student. The average per student outlay in Arizona is $5,016. Many peer districts receive additional funding through desegregation, greater weighted funding for special needs students, as well as funding for underserved students.

The report — which can be found at — also showed that LESD’s administrative costs are lower than comparable districts as well as the state average. While peer districts spend more than $1,000 per student on average on administrative costs and Arizona districts state-wide average just $936, Liberty spends just $856 per student on administration. LESD also spends less than comparable districts and the state average on maintenance, food service and transportation.

When it comes to public funds, it is critically important that LESD is accountable for how they are spent. The Auditor General’s report shows LESD is putting most of its dollars where they will do the most good: in the classroom. That’s good news for us, for district taxpayers, and especially beneficial for the students we serve.

Superintendent Dr. Lori Shough


Spending by operational area