One of the issues leading to the walkout during the #RedforEd movement, was Governor Ducey’s promise of a 20% raise by 2020 ONLY for teachers. The movement wanted the definition of “teacher” expanded and pay raises for all school personnel. That’s because teachers understand their’s is a broad profession, and although quality teachers are the number one in-school factor contributing to student success, every employee in a school district, whether a “defined” teacher or not, contributes to the ability of students to learn.
There is currently though, no consistent definition of “teacher” in Arizona. The 2018–2019 K–12 budget reconciliation bill, HB 2663, K–12 education; does not define “teacher”. The previous year’s budget bill defined “teacher” as: “any person eligible to be included as a teacher on a disrict’s FTE count submitted with its annual financial report, whose salary was paid under function code 1000 (instruction). Clear as mud, right?
The definition in Arizona Revised Statute (A.R.S) 15–901(B)(5), says a “Certified teacher” means a person “who is certified as a teacher pursuant to the rules adopted by the state board of education who renders direct and personal services to school children in the form of instruction related to the school district’s educational course of study and who is paid from the maintenance and operation section of the budget.” Okay, so that is a little clearer, but how is teacher compensation impacted by legislation passed last year to allow non-certified teachers to teach in Arizona public schools? Guess that means fewer raises for teachers as those more qualified continue to exercise their “school choice” to either retire or move to another state so they can earn a living wage. Just in case you didn’t see it, here’s a story about Texas buying up billboards in Arizona to lure our teachers away. Continue reading →
Doug Ducey ran on the promise of eliminating Arizona’s income tax in 2014. It wasn’t taken seriously by most political observers and the candidate himself walked his proposal back and characterized it as an aspiration when pressed on how it was possible to implement it.
“No one’s talking about eliminating the income tax,” he said. “I’ve talked about an ever-improving tax situation, where year after year, we have an improving climate and if we can get it as close to zero as we possible, that’s a positive. Because the nine states that don’t have an income tax have double the job growth of the highest-tax states.”
He later said his talk of driving the income tax rate to zero is a “direction.”
His campaign literature says otherwise. In his “My Pledge to the People of Arizona,” which is online and distributed to voters, Ducey’s No. 1 promise if he’s elected is to “Submit legislation to reduce taxes every year, with the goal of eliminating personal and corporate income taxes in Arizona.”
On April 30, he told The Arizona Republic eliminating the taxes is a “long-term goal, it is one I embrace.”
The Republic asked Ducey on Tuesday evening to clarify the remarks he made during the debate in light of his campaign literature and prior comments. Ducey said, “Elimination is a severe word. Reduction and improvement (in the tax code), people will get that. We will do that over a couple of legislative sessions.”
Now that Ducey has been elected, elimination (that severe word) of the income tax appears to be fully on the table. Keep your eye on a guy named Steven Slivinski. He’s a former “senior economist” for the Goldwater Institute (huge red flag) and he has nabbed himself a spot as a “senior research fellow” at ASU’s (wait for it) Center for the Study of Economic Liberty (freedom!). If you guessed from the name of that endeavor that it was funded by the Koch Brothers without looking it up, you win the door prize.
We have elected a national legislature in which the true power resides in a cabal of vandals, a nihilistic brigade that believes that its opposition to a bill directing millions of new customers to the nation's insurance companies is the equivalent of standing up to the Nazis in 1938, to the bravery of the passengers on Flight 93 on September 11, 2001, and to Mel Gibson's account of the Scottish Wars of Independence in the 13th Century. We have elected a national legislature that looks into the mirror and sees itself already cast in marble.
We did this. We looked at our great legacy of self-government and we handed ourselves over to the reign of morons.
[Video after the jump.]
This is what they came to Washington to do — to break the government of the United States. It doesn't matter any more whether they're doing it out of pure crackpot ideology, or at the behest of the various sugar daddies that back their campaigns, or at the instigation of their party's mouthbreathing base.
Their rhetoric is so far from the truth that it is shocking. While they are trying to "save" the US from health insurance, millions of Americans are signing up for Obamacare (AKA the Affordable Care Act). In the first three days, 8.6 million unique users logged on to Healthcare.gov to shop the health insurance exchanges in the first three days.
Or are they just so incompetent that they dazzle themselves with their own brilliance, as Paul Krugman suggested in today’sNew York Times? Quoting the Mann-Ornstein book “It’s Even Worse than It Looks,” he writes:
G.O.P. has become “an insurgent outlier — ideologically extreme; contemptuous of the inherited social and economic policy regime; scornful of compromise; unpersuaded by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.”
But there’s one more important piece of the story. Conservative leaders are indeed ideologically extreme, but they’re also deeply incompetent. So much so, in fact, that the Dunning-Kruger effect — the truly incompetent can’t even recognize their own incompetence — reigns supreme…
It has been obvious for years that the modern Republican Party is no longer capable of thinking seriously about policy. Whether the issue is climate change or inflation, party members believe what they want to believe, and any contrary evidence is dismissed as ahoax, the product of vast liberal conspiracies.
Watch House Speaker John Boehner’s arrogant ignorance at work in this video interview with George Stephanopoulos. He repeatedly asks Boehner where this will all end and why he refuses to allow a vote on a “clean” continuing resolution on the budget. A defiant Boehner repeatedly says he can’t bring a “clean CR” up for a vote because it won’t pass. (Prove it.) He couldn’t care less about the hardship that Republican Party is inflicting on our country and potentially the world. Where are Senator John McCain and other more moderate Republican silverbacks? Someone needs to take Boehner aside and tell him “game over.”
Does Congressman Paul Ryan not realize that the Romney-Ryan ticket lost in November?
And that President Barack Obama (who sounded like a progressive in the last days of the campaign) won by a larger margin than any other president in recent history— including John Kennedy, Ronald Raegan, and Bill Clinton?
The November election was a much a referendum FOR Obama as it was AGAINST Republican austerity and their ideas to balance the budget on the backs of Americans– rather than forcing the 1% to pay their fair share.
Or does Ryan– and the other Wall Street shills in Congress– just think that if they propose the same stale, trickle down economics and middle class austerity ideas over and over again that eventually we will acquiesce and say, "Oh, yeah, go ahead and screw the 99%. Obviously, the robber barons… er… your corporate masters… er… the 1% really need additional tax breaks more than we need Social Security or Medicare."
Ralph Atchue is running again for State Senate in LD 11. He lost to current Republican Senator Steve Smith in Nov. 2016. Also running again for LD 11 House is Hollace (Holly) Lyon, who lost in Nov. 2014 to current … Continue reading →
Hosted by Andrés Cano and 2 others “Join us for a forum for all of the Democratic candidates for the Arizona House and Senate. The event will be held on Monday, June 25, from 6-8 PM in the Sabino Room, … Continue reading →
“Come help the Southern Arizona Democrats register voters in Downtown Tucson on Tuesday. We can’t get Democrats elected in Arizona unless everyone is registered to vote, and we need everyone’s help to make sure that happens! Please arrive at Catalina … Continue reading →
Participating in the kick-off of this discussion will be: Tucson Police Department Pima County Attorney’s Office Emerge Center to Prevent Domestic Violence Mom’s Demand Action Homicide Survivors AZ State Rep. Randy Friese (LD 9) former Congressman Ron Barber Victoria Steele … Continue reading →
Three Democrats running for 2 seats on Arizona Corporation Commission in the 8/28/18 primary: former Commissioners Bill Mundell and Sandra Kennedy (running as a team), and political newcomer Kiana Sears. 2 of the 5 seats on the AZ Corporation Commission … Continue reading →
“Our monthly Sustainable Living Forum brings experts to talk about, and discuss, topics in sustainable living. This month’s topic: Social Justice: Be the Change Guest speakers: Social Justice: Be the Change Bring your brains and enthusiasm. Learn from local experts, … Continue reading →
Gay Pride Flickathon Thursday June 28th 1pm – 8 pm Ward 3 Community Room 1510 E. Grant Road FEATURE PRESENTATIONS “1 – 3 pm “PRIDE” is inspired by an extraordinary true story. It’s the summer of 1984 and much of … Continue reading →
Hosted by Indivisible Tohono “Please join us for an Arizona Candidate Forum on Friday, June 29, 2018 @ 5:30pm to 8:30 pm Here’s your chance to meet Arizona candidates, ask them questions and give them ideas on how to better … Continue reading →
FAMILIES BELONG TOGETHER—ATTEND A JUNE 30 EVENT! UPDATE: June 20, 2018, 8:00 PM ET — EVENTS ARE ON! The executive order that Donald Trump signed today is not a solution to the crisis created by his administration; it keeps kids … Continue reading →
UPDATE: June 20, 2018, 8:00 PM ET — EVENTS ARE ON! The executive order that Donald Trump signed today is not a solution to the crisis created by his administration; it keeps kids imprisoned indefinitely, and doesn’t reunite thousands of … Continue reading →
“Donald Trump and his administration are cruelly separating children from their families. But we won’t allow it to continue. On June 30, we’re rallying in Washington, D.C., and around the country to tell Donald Trump and his administration to stop separating … Continue reading →
One Voice, One Vote, One Arizona Campaign Launch “One Arizona table partners are coming together Saturday, June 30th at 10:00 a.m. to announce this year’s voter registration efforts for the midterm elections. This year, One Arizona plans to register 200,000 … Continue reading →
Hosted by Voices from the Border “Families Belong Together March to the border, June 30, 11 AM, gathering in front of the historic Nogales Courthouse, 21 E. Court Street and Morley Ave. Parking available. Bring your humanity, your passion, your … Continue reading →