Cross-posted from RestoreReason.com.
On this Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d ask, when it comes to our public schools students in Arizona, “who loves you baby?” Yesterday, I was listening in on the AZ House Education Committee meeting. There were many bills on the agenda, but I was primarily interested in HB 2394; empowerment scholarship accounts [ESAs]; expansion; phase-in. I wasn’t hopeful the bill would die, as its companion bill SB 1431, had already been given a due-pass by the Senate Education Committee. As expected, HB 2394 followed suit on a 6–5 vote as did HB 2465, which will allow all students eligible for an ESA account to remain on the program until age 22 and for up to $2,000 a year to be put into a 529 savings account.
The passage of these bills, along with the companion ones in the Senate, demonstrate the disdain many GOP legislators have for our district schools and, for the underpaid educators who toil within. This, because ESAs divert more general fund revenue per student to private schools than district schools receive. As reported by the Arizona School Boards Association, an ESA student, on average, costs the state general fund $1,083 more in grades K–8, and $1,286 more in grades 9–12 than a district student. This is in part because there are many school districts that enjoy a fair amount of locally controlled support in the way of overrides and bonds. The state therefore, is relieved of providing equalization funding to them, but when students leave to go to private schools, all the funding must come from the state general fund. ESA students also receive charter additional assistance funding of roughly $1,200 per student, which district schools do not receive. Turns out that the claim of voucher proponents that they save the state money, is not just “alternative facts” but totally untrue. And, although voucher proponents love to claim there is no harm to district schools when students take their funding and leave, the truth is that about 19 percent of a districts costs are fixed (teacher salaries, transportation, facility repair and maintenance, utilities) and can’t be reduced with each student’s departure. Continue reading
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged ALEC, American Federation for Children, Americans for Prosperity, Arizona School Boards Association, AZ Catholic Conference, az chamber of commerce, betsy devos, cathi herrod, commercialization, Doug Coleman, Glen Hamer, goldwater institute, Michelle Udall, private schools, privatization, school choice, vouchers
What, you thought it was about “saving babies”?
Thanks to the 1992 Supreme Court decision, Planned Parenthood v Casey, that made a “mess” of jurisprudence around abortion, GOP-led states have had largely free reign to pass intrusive restrictions on women’s health care under the guise of “health and safety”. While these laws are sometimes blocked by courts, anti-choicers continue to revive them, wasting millions of dollars in the process, in the hopes of exhausting opponents and/or getting more favorable court decisions as Republicans continue to stack the nation’s courts with ideologically friendly judges.
One such law was Arizona’s requirement that abortion doctors use outdated FDA protocol in dispensing abortion pills. The original label from 2000 recommended use of the pills only until the seventh week of pregnancy. But FDA guidelines are not laws and physicians commonly experiment with different levels and uses of medication to do what’s best for their patients. This is typical with many types of medications, not just for abortion. Arizona anti-choicers first tried to override the judgment of doctors on medication abortion in 2012, but were thwarted in court. This year, under Governor Doug Ducey, who is arguably even more anti-choice than his predecessor Jan Brewer, they brought it back as SB1324, which Ducey signed last week. Continue reading
Posted in Abortion, Activism, Arizona State Legislature, Civil Rights, Commentary, Courts, Donna Gratehouse, Gender Equality, GOP War On..., Healthcare, Legislation, Religion
Tagged abortion, cathi herrod, center for arizona policy, medication abortion, RU486
Crossposted from DemocraticDiva.com
A few years ago I was on the Phoenix Channel 12 Sunday Square Off panel (I can’t for the life of me find the video) and one of the topics was Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio conducting a “cold case investigation” of President Obama’s birth certificate and eligibility for the Presidency. Donald Trump had swanned in to weigh in on it, as I recall, since I remember saying something about his hairline and that he should go away.
I distinctly remember Channel 12 news anchor and reporter Brahm Resnik covering the “investigation” because, well, it was newsworthy to the extent that the county sheriff was conducting it but also treating the substance of it with the derision it deserved. In 2014, Resnik reiterated that, when he interrogated then-Arizona State Senator and candidate for Secretary of State Michele Reagan (R) about her support for the 2011 “Birther Bill”.
“Did you believe President Obama needed to show his birth certificate to the secretary of state?” asked host Brahm Resnik.
“I believe that what is in state law is sufficient,” Reagan repeated.
Resnik said the bill caused “embarrassment” for the state. “Do you recognize that?” he asked.
“I recognize that what is in state law right now is –”
“Do you regret that vote?” Resnik interjected. Continue reading
Posted in Abortion, Activism, Civil Rights, Commentary, Debates, Donna Gratehouse, Ethics, Gender Equality, GOP War On..., Healthcare, Justice, Legislation, Party Politics, President, Racism, Scandals
Tagged abortion, anti-choicers, anti-vaxxers, birthers, Brahm Resnik, cathi herrod, evan wyloge, laurie roberts, Planned Parenthood, shane wikfors
Crossposted from DemocraticDiva.com
Statement from Center for Arizona Policy President Cathi Herrod
PHOENIX – “Like millions of Americans, I was horrified to see a top Planned Parenthood official callously discussing the strategic dismemberment of preborn children for the possible sale of their organs. As the video revealed, this issue has struck close to home because the Planned Parenthood executive clearly discussed Arizona as a target state for this process due to Planned Parenthood Arizona having a ‘business savvy’ CEO, Bryan Howard.
Mr. Howard has denied any wrongdoing. Yet his words ring hollow, especially after a new video shows another Planned Parenthood executive saying she ‘wants a Lamborghini’ while discussing compensation for preborn children’s organs.
If Bryan Howard and Planned Parenthood truly have nothing to hide, then prove it. They should open up their records to authorities for an immediate investigation.
There is clearly smoke here, and now the onus is on Bryan Howard and Planned Parenthood to prove there is no fire by opening up their books to investigators. According to Planned Parenthood Arizona’s 2013-2014 annual report, they performed abortions on
7,100 women during that fiscal year. Did they compromise the health and safety of these women in order to profit off their preborn children’s organs? Continue reading
Posted in Abortion, Activism, Civil Rights, Commentary, Donna Gratehouse, Gender Equality, GOP War On..., Healthcare, Religion, Scandals, Terrorism
Tagged abortion, anti-choice, cathi herrod, fetal tissue, hpv vaccine, Planned Parenthood
Crossposted from DemocraticDiva.com
I’m always willing to portray Doug Ducey next to Cathi Herrod.
My last post was about the wealthiest Americans and polling showing that they are (highly) disinclined to see the government as a force to increase the employment rate. And then there was this Howie Fischer piece on Tuesday:
Following some less-than-spectacular jobless reports, the Ducey administration is scrapping at least temporarily – and perhaps forever – the monthly media briefings on the state’s unemployment situation. Continue reading
The shocking Josh Duggar story broke last Thursday, when Mark and I left for a long weekend in a mountain cabin. When we returned it was all over the place and perhaps the most interesting (if by “interesting” you mean “vomit-inducing”) reactions to it have come from conservatives defending Josh Duggar (while insisting they are NOT defending Josh Duggar!).
I’m honestly surprised that our local news people, who can usually be counted on to find an “Arizona connection” to any major national story (no matter how tenuous), haven’t seized upon a rather obvious one with Josh Duggar, who resigned quickly from his position as executive director of FRC Action, the political arm of the highly anti-gay and anti-choice Family Research Council.
FRC has deep roots in Arizona right wing politics, as Political Research Associates reported in 2012.
Some of the most important leaders in the conservative movement were on a marriage equality panel at the recent Values Voters Summit. But likely few of the conference participants had even heard of the panelists or the Family Policy Council, the network that makes them greater than the sum of their parts.
Panel moderator Cathi Herrod, president of the Arizona Center for Policy, is worried about the “Four states voting on whether marriage will be redefined in their states.” Herrod said that proponents of marriage equality (no, she didn’t really call them that) “see the fights in these states as the kickoff to reversing the victories in thirty-two states where the voters said ‘yes’ to marriage being defined as between one man and one woman.” She sees any victories by her opponents as potentially a “game changer.” Continue reading
Posted in Abortion, Arizona State Legislature, Civil Rights, Commentary, Donna Gratehouse, Gender Equality, GOP War On..., Healthcare, Legislation, Religion
Tagged anti-abortion, anti-contraception, cathi herrod, center for arizona policy, duggars, josh duggar