Daily Archives: April 25, 2018

The Perfect Haboob

Cross-posted from RestoreReason.com.

There are a lot of unique things about living in Arizona and our storms rank near the top. I know, I know, people who don’t live here are thinking what storms, thought it is always sunny and hot? Well, there is that, but we also have our crazy monsoon rains and wild walls of dust called “haboobs”, an Arabic word meaning “blown”.

According to Arizona’s ABC15.com, “Haboobs are giant walls of dust created from high winds rushing out of a collapsing thunderstorm. Cold air in front of the storm rushes down at an incredible rate, picking up massive amounts of dust and sand and blowing them into the air.” A 2011 haboob in Phoenix, was almost a mile tall and stretched across the entire valley, over 50 miles long. These storms can stretch as far as 100 miles wide and are dangerous not only to drive in, but to just be outside in, as rocks and debris thrown around by winds of up to 50 mph can be dangerous, and bad air quality causes many people difficult breathing.

What’s going on with public education right now in Arizona feels a lot like that. First of all, our Governor and Legislature have turned a cold shoulder to the crisis facing our teachers and the districts they serve. The assault on our public schools has been fast-paced and fueled by out-of-state monied interests like the Koch Brothers’ Americans for Prosperity and Betsy DeVos’ American Federation for Children, despite overwhelming support for our public schools from Arizonans. And, all of this serves to obscure the real truth, which is that the focus on tax cuts and the push to privatize, are draining our public schools of available resources, making it very difficult for them to “catch their breath” and make the strides our state needs. Continue reading

#RedforEd March and Rally Thursday

Carolyn Classen posted information in the calendar above about the Arizona Educators United Rally at the Arizona State Capitol scheduled for Noon.

The march this calendar item references is the Arizona Education Association #RedForEd March and Rally (link).

AZ-RedforEd-Rally-banner

After years of cut after cut to education funding, years of students sitting at broken desks, years of taping textbooks to keep them together, and years crumbling school buildings, we’ve had enough.

On Thursday, Arizona’s educators are walking out for our students.

We’ll be meeting at 10 a.m. at the Chase Stadium and marching to the Capitol Building, where there will be a rally.

Sign up to receive details.

UPDATE: Meet at 10 a.m. at Chase Field for approx. 2 mile, 2 hour march to capitol. Parking available at Chase Field. Rally & programming at the AZ State Capitol 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., with shuttles provided back to Chase Field from 11:00 a.m. to 6:45 p.m.

The teacher organizations will be joined in solidarity with support from their union brothers and sisters in the Arizona AFL-CIO.

Brothers and Sisters,

We are witnessing a national uprising in education fueled by students and educators. I believe we in Arizona Labor have a moral obligation to provide no-strings-attached support and help as needed. We will share what information we have for continued support leading up to Thursday (4/26).

Students demand safe schools in which to be educated.

Teachers demand economic justice to afford educating them.

Thousands of educators and their supporters will converge on the State Capitol as they strike to send a loud, clear message to Governor Ducey and Legislative leaders: The time for flimsy, empty promises of change is over.

Please contact me directly for help getting involved:
cell: 480-217-1920   office: 602-631-4488

In solidarity

Fred Yamashita
Executive Director
Arizona AFL-CIO

Continue reading

AZ GOP response to #RedForEd ranges from ‘class warfare,’ to suing teachers, to McCarthyism

Yesterday I noted that Rep. Noel Campbell (R-Prescott), is the only Republican to propose a tax increase to support public education. Shocking! Arizona Republican proposes a tax increase to support public education.

Unfortunately for Rep. Campbell, he falls back on the most regressive tax – the sales tax – which is most susceptible to fluctuations in the economic cycle. It is not a reliable and sustainable revenue source.

The regressive sales tax is favored by Arizona’s corporate CEOs who want to raise $2 million for education with a 1.5-cent citizen’s initiative on the ballot in 2020 – “don’t you dare rescind our corporate welfare tax cuts, or impose new income or property taxes on our corporations.”

Howard Fischer reports that the sales tax proposal is D.O.A. No teacher-pay deal reached ahead of Arizona strike; sales-tax increase floated:

State Rep. Noel Campbell says a three-year, one-cent sales tax, on top of the existing 0.6 of a cent levy dedicated to education, would provide about $1 billion a year, more than enough money not only for pay raises for teachers and support staffs but also to help restore some of the funding that’s been cut over the years in state aid to education. It also would give schools enough to provide full-day kindergarten if they wish; that program’s funding was cut during the Great Recession.

If nothing else, it also would provide some breathing room while education advocates come up with a more permanent solution that could go to voters on the 2020 ballot, Campbell said.

Continue reading