Proposition 402

The Arizona Expenditure Limit
and Eastern Arizona College

What is the Arizona Expenditure Limit for Community Colleges?

On June 3, 1980, Arizonans voted in favor of Arizona Constitution Article IX, §21, which established an annual expenditure limit in the state to restrict how much a community college district can spend—even if funding is available.

Despite the passage of time, these limits remain in place and fall short of covering the actual rising costs of providing quality education.

If a community college district exceeds its expenditure limit, it is subject to penalties—based on a formula that was established 44 years ago.

The penalties associated with exceeding this limit will cause immediate and drastic cuts in educational programs and services that will likely lead to the closure of EAC’s campus.

Expenditure Limitation Fact Sheet

Delivering Flexibility to Strengthen and Expand Educational Opportunities

On April 11, 2024, the Graham County Community College District Governing Board approved a resolution to forward a ballot referral to voters to double the 1980 base factor from $4.5 million to $9 million. This will allow Eastern Arizona College to use its existing budget and will not increase taxes. This resolution has now become Proposition 402 which Graham County voters will consider on November 5, 2024.

The expenditure limit for Arizona community colleges is calculated each year based on expenditures in 1979-80 multiplied by factors for inflation and student population (enrollment). The mathematical formula for calculating the expenditure limit is:

*Inflation is identified as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Implicit Price Deflator while the student population is defined as Full Time Student Equivalents (FTSE). FTSE are students who are taking 15 credit hours a semester or the total number of credit hours provided to students in a year divided by 30.

Notice for Arguments

Eastern Arizona College will mail an informational pamphlet which will include arguments submitted for and against Proposition 402.

The full text of the question to be considered at the election is included in the resolution, which is available at the District Office, 615 N. Stadium Avenue, Thatcher, Arizona 85552, or by clicking the links below.

Any person interested in providing any such argument(s) is hereby requested to provide it to the District, on or before 5 p.m. on July 10, 2024.

In accordance with A.R.S. § 19-124, each argument filed shall not exceed 300 words and shall contain the sworn statement of each person sponsoring it; if the argument is sponsored by an organization, it shall contain the sworn statement of two executive officers of the organization or if sponsored by a political committee it shall contain the sworn statement of the committee’s chair or treasurer.

Each argument filed shall also be submitted in electronic format to The person or persons signing the argument shall identify themselves by giving their residence or post office address and a telephone number, which information shall not appear in the Informational Pamphlet. The Informational Pamphlet will include the names of the persons and entities submitting arguments.

For more information, see the links below.


The Math Behind Eastern Arizona College’s Expenditure Limit

In 1980, the expenditure limit ‘base’ for Eastern Arizona College was set at the amount we spent that year to serve students. Each year after, the amount is nothing more than a number in the formula and does not represent actual dollars being spent. By permanently adjusting the base on which the expenditure limit is determined, Eastern Arizona College can continue supporting students across Graham County with flexible, high-quality, and affordable education.

Adjusting the base limit does not increase taxes or add any new funding to the budget. It simply allows Eastern Arizona College the flexibility to use its existing budget.

The Facts

What Happens
…if Proposition 402 is Passed

Doubling the base factor allows Eastern Arizona College to continue supporting students with flexible, high-quality, and affordable education aligned with industry demands.

…if Proposition 402 Does Not Pass

There will be immediate and drastic cuts in educational programs and services that will likely lead to the closure of EAC’s campus.