Differing Plans for Different Philosophies to Solve the Education Funding Crisis in Arizona

Teachers are on Day Four of their walkout

Teachers are on Day Four of their walkout

As the educator walkout continues this week, there are currently five published plans that have been offered to solve the funding crisis our education community faces in this state. Each plan has positive features to one or more groups. All of them have drawbacks to one or more groups. Hopefully, mature public servants on both sides will get together and try to fashion a plan based on aspects of part or all of these proposals that will enable the children and educators to return to school.

Plan One: Invest in Education Act Ballot Initiative

What is the scope of the plan? To place an initiative on the November ballot to raise the state income tax on high earners to raise monies to fully fund schools. People earning from $250,000 to $499,000 would pay an additional 3.46 % in state taxes or $17,265.40 maximum. People earning $500,000 or higher would pay an additional 4.46 percent or $22,300 minimum.

What is the name of the person/groups that support this plan? Superintendent Candidates Kathy Hoffman and David Schapira, Gubernatorial Candidate David Garcia, Arizona Center for Economic Progress.

What is the financial method utilized to solve the education funding crisis in Arizona? Increasing the state income tax for high earners.

What is at least one positive aspect to this plan? It is a steady and consistent revenue stream that would not be susceptible to an economic downtown like a sales tax.

What is at least one negative aspect to this plan? As designed, it only raises close to $700,000,000 of the $1,000,000,000 needed to fully fund schools. Also, as columnist Laurie Roberts points out, it does not ask any of the other income groups to contribute. This initiative puts the added burden solely on high-income earners. This could potentially galvanize the corporate right and create a highly charged partisan fight, waking up the conservative base just as the Blue Wave hits in the November elections.

Plan Two: Governor Ducey’s Plan

What is the scope of the plan? To give teachers a 20 percent raise in stages by 2020.

What is the name of the person/groups that support this plan? Governor Ducey and his allies in the legislature.

What is the financial method utilized to solve the education funding crisis in Arizona? Revenues based on economic performance and possible reallocation from other sensitive budget areas for the needy. This may also include the shifting of property taxes to local communities where they are forced to pay more.

What is at least one positive aspect to this plan?  Most of the teachers would get a raise.

What is at least one negative aspect to this plan? First, it does not fully fund education or even the teacher raises. How are the teacher raises determined in the local districts?  Where are the raises for support staff?  Where are the monies for capital improvements and investments? They are not there.

Second, the funding apparatus, even in its revised form is both unclear and unstable. Updated proposals relayed that the Governor would divert funds from other areas of need like prescription drugs to fund the raises, which would be pitting one group of needy recipients against another. Furthermore, the Governor’s proposals depend on a consistently strong state economy. There are no provisions, other than raiding other budget areas, like prescription drugs, if there is a downturn.

Plan Three: State Representative Noel Campbell’s One Cent Sales Tax Proposal.

 What is the scope of the plan? To raise the sales tax one cent to generate the billion dollars needed to fully fund education

What is the name of the person/groups that support this plan? Noel Campbell and CEOs of Arizona.

What is the financial method utilized to solve the education funding crisis in Arizona? A sales tax

What is at least one positive aspect to this plan? It fully funds education.

What is at least one negative aspect to this plan? To date, this plan has received lukewarm to nonexistent support from Campbell’s Republican colleagues. Furthermore, while a sales tax to fund education has been done before (Prop 301 which was just renewed), it is still a regressive measure where the poor and middle class pay more than high-income earners. Finally, a sales tax is susceptible to the economic winds. There will be fewer revenues from falling sales tax receipts during a recession.

Plan Four: The CEO plan 

What is the scope of the plan? To take the Campbell sales tax proposal for three years and then pass a permanent 1.5 percent sales tax solution in 2020.

What is the name of the person/groups that support this plan? According to the Arizona Republic, the supporters are Reginald M. Ballantyne III is a former president of the Arizona State Board of Education; Mike Brewer is president & CEO of Brewer Companies and Benjamin Franklin Plumbing; Phil Francis is retired chairman and CEO of PetSmart; Glenn Hickman is the president & CEO of Hickman Family Farms; and John O. Whiteman is president of the Whiteman Foundation.

What is the financial method utilized to solve the education funding crisis in Arizona? A sales tax

What is at least one positive aspect to this plan? It will fully fund education.

What is at least one negative aspect to this plan? It is still a regressive measure where the poor and middle class pay more than high-income earners. Finally, a sales tax is susceptible to the economic winds. There will be fewer revenues from falling sales tax receipts during a recession.

Plan Five: A Tax on Services

What is the scope of the plan? To institute a 2.5 percent tax on services like haircuts and legal services.

What is the name of the person/group that supports the plan? The Arizona American Federation of Teachers.

What is the financial method utilized to solve the education funding crisis in Arizona? A tax on services, which is new to this state.

What is at least one positive aspect to this plan? It fully funds education to the tune of generating $2.65 billion.

What is at least one negative aspect to this plan? It is a new tax on an area never taxed before. Furthermore, it appears the ballot initiative appears to have the support of most education groups at this time.

What is astonishing about this situation is how easy it is to solve the Education Funding Crisis if one side, in particular, has the political will. That is because most of these plans require a minuscule investment in either taxing high earners or increasing the sales tax one cent. Would most high-income earners complain about the higher rates to fund their children’s or communities’ schools? Would most people really quibble over paying an extra cent on purchasing bottled water?

Of course, no one would have to pay anything extra if the Governor and the Legislature did what the Democratic Candidates for Superintendent of Education (Hoffman and Schapira) and Governor (Farley) favor; the scaling back of the corporate tax cuts that have been given in this latest local incarnation of trickle-down economics.

David Schapira, a Democratic candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction, further cautioned that people should read the budget proposals and listen to the legislators throughout the budget process in the Legislature. He indicated that areas to pay attention to is how property taxes are allocated and whether funds for school desegregation would be fully appropriated.

Some of the people like the Governor and his like-minded allies that are against tax increases really need to come back to reality and fashion a plan with education advocates that can fully fund our schools with a minimal amount of pain. It is not unreasonable to foresee a compromise that incorporates both taxing mechanisms. All that is needed is the will to do it and to stop pandering to either dark money corporate interests or unrealistic Ayn Rand-Koch Brother societal prescriptions.

http://tucson.com/news/local/proposed-education-funding-initiative-raises-taxes-on-arizona-s-wealthiest/article_8c01a8be-4a59-11e8-b44c-5bf5aa7bd6a6.html

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-education/2018/04/25/three-proposals-funding-arizona-teacher-salaries-education/550737002/

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/arizona-education/2018/04/30/arizona-redfored-educators-detail-income-tax-ballot-proposal-education-funding/565138002/

https://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/2018/04/30/pass-temporary-tax-schools-now-then-our-1-5-cent-measure-2020/564136002/

https://dg4az.com/press-release/candidate-for-governor-garcia-endorses-invest-in-education-act/

https://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/laurieroberts/2018/04/30/arizona-teacher-strike-doug-ducey-lawmakers-funding-questions/559850002/

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/arizona-education/2018/04/27/arizona-invest-education-act-initiative-school-funding-teacher-pay-redfored-walkout/559319002/

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/arizona-education/2018/04/30/arizona-budget-proposal-detailed-capitol-teachers-continue-protest/565687002/

https://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/laurieroberts/2018/04/30/soaking-1-percenters-pay-arizonas-schools-bad-idea/567184002/

https://www.facebook.com/davidforaz/videos/10156349825523044/UzpfSTM1MjU4NzE5ODE4MTE0MzoxNDYzMTA0MDA3MTI5NDUx/

 

 

 

 

One response to “Differing Plans for Different Philosophies to Solve the Education Funding Crisis in Arizona

  1. I have created a plan to increase funding for education by adopting a flat income tax. Click on the link below to view the details:

    http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/opinion/a-better-tax-plan-referendum-than-a-cent-sales-tax/article_622c7ed4-0b65-11e8-ad36-9f1d9786f313.html