Category Archives: Education

So how’s that trickle-down working out for Arizona?

The Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required) reports that Arizona Legislature’s budget analysts predict 2018 shortfall:

The Arizona Legislature’s budget analysts last Thursday predicted a budget shortfall that could top $100 million in the current and coming year as the impact of corporate tax cuts continues to overwhelm increases in sales, insurance premium and personal income tax collections.

Whaaa? You mean tax cuts don’t pay for themselves and are revenue neutral? (sarcasm).

Chief budget analyst Richard Stavneak told economists and state officials who make up the Legislature’s Finance Advisory Committee that the shortfall will hit $104 million. That’s out of an expected $10 billion in spending for the budget year that begins next July 1. A panel of state lawmakers also attended the meeting.

Excluded from that projection is $90 million in current spending that is labeled one-time but appears to be an ongoing commitment by the Legislature and Gov. Doug Ducey, Stavneak said. That puts the expected shortfall next year close to $200 million if that spending isn’t cut. The revenue picture could also brighten, but signals are mixed, he said.

Phased-in corporate tax cuts enacted under former Gov. Jan Brewer in 2011 have cut more than $600 million in yearly revenue since 2014. Rep. Don Shooter, R-Yuma, said it may be time to revisit the corporate tax cuts and predicted a budget battle next year.

“It’s going to be a free-for-all. We’re back to the cutting, I don’t see any other way,” Shooter said. “It’s going to come down to who’s going to bleed the least, what’s going to be the least painful, I guess.”

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3 Reasons Why Mary Matiella Beats McSally: Experience, Accessibility and Personality

In the crowded race to be Tucson’s Congresswoman, Mary Matiella stands out as the candidate who has experience in the federal government, a personal story of succeeding against big odds and a relatable presence that appeals to voters.

Experience, accessibility, and personality are the primary reasons she can beat incumbent train wreck, Rep. Martha McSally, but there are actually 8 good reasons:

1. Matiella’s positions are well fleshed out, favoring progressive ideas like Medicare for all and debt-free higher education, along with centrist positions like creating jobs by rebuilding infrastructure and eliminating waste in government. And she is “100% against the border wall.”

She bills herself as an unapologetic progressive candidate, but adds, “I’m not too liberal for the congressional district. Everything that I believe in has resonated with the vast majority of the people. I’m pretty well in line with the Democratic constituents here in the district. The folks I would like to swing over to our side are the independents — that’s one-third of the voters.”

In contrast, McSally avoids taking a stand on most issues. But McSally’s votes betray her right-wing positions, as she voted to repeal Obamacare, voted to cut funding for Planned Parenthood, and voted 95% in line with the Trump position.

2. Matiella has attracted key endorsements from US Rep. Raúl Grijalva, the progressive PAC Democracy for America, Pima County Supervisors Sharon Bronson and Richard Elias, Tucson City Council members Regina Romero and Paul Cunningham and TUSD Board member Adelita Grijalva.

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Ducey is a disaster for Arizona

Governor Doug Ducey, the ice cream man hired by Koch industries to run their Southwest subsidiary formerly known as the state of Arizona, self-labels himself, for purely propaganda purposes, as “the education governor.”

The governor’s label would be a joke if his misguided policies did not come with serious and dire consequences for the actual condition of public education in Arizona.

Perhaps the governor should accept responsibility for his policies making Arizona the worst — that’s right, dead last — in public education, as the Republic’s Laurie Roberts describes. Arizona ranks as worst state to be a teacher:

Quick, what is the worst state in which to be a teacher?

If you said Arizona, give yourself a gold star.

WalletHub this week released its annual rankings for the best – and worst – states in  which to spend a career in the classroom. The financial services website compared the 50 states and Washington D.C., analyzing 21 key indicators, ranging from income growth potential to class size to safety.

The best states in which to be a teacher: New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Connecticut, Pennsylvania.

The worst: Florida, Mississippi, South Carolina, Hawaii and finally, down there in our usual spot at the bottom of the barrel, Arizona.

We ranked as one of the states with the highest turnover, the highest student-teacher ratios and the lowest spending per student.

And we ranked as dead last in the number of people expected to be competing for teacher jobs by 2024. Gee, I wonder why.

Lest you think things are looking up, two years ago Arizona ranked 49th  overall. Now, we’re 51st.

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Progressive Democrats Sponsor “UnKoch My Campus” with Prof. David Gibbs

David Gibbs, Professor of History and Government

Alarmed by dark money subverting Arizona’s public education system, the Progressive Democrats of America are sponsoring a special lecture, “UnKoch My Campus” on Thursday, September 28, 2017, 6:30 – 8:00 pm at the Ward 6 City Council Office at 3202 E. First Street, Tucson.

The speaker is David Gibbs, Professor of History and Government at the University of Arizona. He has cited the “extreme danger” that Trump poses in climate change and nuclear war, and has criticized US military interventions in foreign countries.

The Koch Bros’ tentacles are everywhere, including in Tucson at the University of Arizona campus. Their “Freedom Center” at the UofA is a think tank designed to turn students into future lobbyists for the right-wing, anti-education foundation. See the blog post Anti-Public School Lecture Set at Koch-Funded UofA Class in Tucson. The comments on the post are noteworthy also.

The corrosive influence of “dark money” has undermined the democratic institutions of the United States, but not just in our political system. The same wealthy donors and corporations have also been polluting our universities.

Recordings and documents from the Charles Koch Foundation and its network of professors shows how Koch’s academic programming is political rather than educational, “leveraging science and universities” for political gain.

Koch Industries and their network of wealthy donors use an “integrated strategy,” called the Structure of Social Change that uses targeted funding of universities, think tanks, and political groups for the “implementation of policy change.”

Discover this and more at this not-to-be-missed presentation.

 

Museums free on Smithsonian Museum Day Live!

“The Museum Day Live! ticket provides free admission for two people.

Museum Day Live! is an annual celebration of boundless curiosity hosted by Smithsonian magazine. Participating museums and cultural institutions across the country provide entry to anyone presenting a Museum Day Live! ticket. 

Where will your curiosity lead you on Museum Day Live!? 
Let us know @MuseumDay  #BoundlessCuriosity  #MuseumDayLive

It’s that time again for the FREE Snithsonian Magazine Museum Day Live event on Sept. 23, 2017, all over the nation. Go to www.smithsonianmag.com to find your local museum, or others nearby.  This is the list of free museums in Tucson, Arizona.

Arizona History Museum

Arizona State Museum

DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun

Downtown History Museum

Fort Lowell Museum

Jewish History Museum & Holocaust History Center

Museum of Contemporary Art

Tucson Botanical Gardens

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/museumday/venues/museum-day-live-2017/?state=AZ&zip_code=85719&name=

Sign up for tickets online: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/museumday/museum-day-live-2017/tickets/

Anti-Public School Lecture Set at Koch-Funded UofA Class in Tucson

Assistant Professor Jonathan Anomaly

Assistant Professor Jonathan Anomaly

The Koch Brothers “Freedom Center” lecture against public education and in favor of privatization of education is set for Thursday, Sept. 21 at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

The dark-money Charles G. Koch foundation donated $1 million to the UofA to create the “Center for the Philosophy of Freedom,” which is a think tank designed to turn students into future lobbyists for the right-wing, anti-education foundation.

The lecture, entitled “Public Goods and Education,” will be delivered by libertarian professor Jonathan Anomaly in Social Sciences 332 from 12:30 to 1:45 pm on Sept. 21. Anomaly was imported in 2017 from Duke University, where he founded the Heterodox Academy website, set up to fight a perceived liberal bias in universities.

Because the lecture is political propaganda, it has caused concern among Tucson’s elected leaders. The Koch Brothers’ extreme right-wing agenda has sabotaged public education in the state and promoted school vouchers to funnel taxpayer money into for-profit private and religious schools.

In August, more than 111,000 Arizona parents and voters signed petitions circulated by Save Our Schools Arizona in opposition to a new state law creating school vouchers that undermine public schools. The measure to veto the law is set to be on a referendum ballot in November 2018.

The abstract of Assistant Professor Anomaly’s talk describes education as a “good,” like a box of cereal, which students “consume.” The lecture makes a bogus economic analysis of  “markets for education,” as if it were a product to be bought and sold.

The lecture is a diatribe against unions and “bureaucrats with monopoly power.” It is a clear example of how dark money politics are subverting higher education in Arizona.
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