Cross-posted from RestoreReason.com.
Maureen Downey, on her blog getschooled.blog.myajc.com writes, “I have never understood the disagreement over whether money matters in education.” After all she points out, “top private schools – the ones that cater to the children of highly educated parents – charge tuition two to three times higher than the average per pupil spending at the local public schools. And these private schools serve students with every possible learning advantage, kids nurtured to excel from the first sonogram. The elite schools charge $17,000 to $25,000 a year in tuition and hit parents up for donations on a regular basis.”
I get where she is coming from, but also think she is taking literary license in writing she doesn’t understand the disagreement. I suspect just like me, she does understand, because it really isn’t that complicated. The “disagreement” is stoked by a myriad of those who would stand to gain from continued underfunding of public education. These include state lawmakers, who would rather divert public education funding to other special interests; commercial profiteers who look to get their piece of the nation’s $700 billion K–12 education market, and the wealthy who want to keep their piece of the pie as big as possible and not have it eaten up by more taxes to pay for “those children’s” education. Continue reading
Posted in Arizona State Legislature, Economics, Education
Tagged achievement, charters, commercial schools, commercialization, David Safier, district schools, Doug Ducey, poverty, privatization
If you haven’t voted early in the upcoming May 17 special election, and plan to do so on Tuesday, here’s the preview of todays’s Zona Politics show with a debate on Prop. 123 between Jason Freed and Morgan Abraham. Freed is in favor of the Proposition, as President of Tucson Education Assn. and Morgan is the Chair of No on Prop. 123 campaign and the President of the Pima County Young Working Democrats. Host Jim Nintzel on Zona Politics is the Senior Writer of the Tucson Weekly.
Zona Politics with Jim Nintzel airs at 8 a.m. Sunday on the CW Tucson, Channel 8 on Cox and Comcast and Channel 58 on Dish, DirecTV and broadcast. You can hear the show on KXCI, 91.3 FM, at 5 p.m. Sundays or watch it online at zonapolitics.com.
Proposition 123 is the education funding amendment, and is supposed to put $3.5 billion in K-12 schools in Arizona.
Morgan Abraham, Chair of No on Prop. 123 committee
Jason Freed, President of Tucson Education Assn.
Posted in Carolyn Classen, Community, Elections, Tucson
Tagged Doug Ducey, education funding amendment, Jason Freed, Jeff DeWit, Jim Nintzel, League of Women Voters, Morgan Abraham, Proposition 123, Tucson Weekly, Zona Politics
Cross-posted from RestoreReason.com.
It appears the Arizona Legislature finally has a budget for the coming year . The $9.58B package includes Governor Ducey’s $8 million tax cut for businesses (due to double to $16 million in FY 2018), but does not restore the KidsCare health care program for 30,000 low-income children. Arizona is the only state in the nation that does not provide this program for its poorer children, even though it would cost the state and its taxpayers…wait for it…NOTHING! The deal also doesn’t restore the $116 million in cuts made last year to K-12 funding and it doesn’t delay the move to current year funding for our Districts, originally slated to cost them $31 million. What it does, is provide funding to mitigate the cuts: 1) associated with the move to current year funding; 2) approved last year to district-sponsored charter schools (saving these schools $1.1 million); and 3) to smaller charter schools (that would have cost them about $6.5 million.) Finally, it eliminates a change that determines how certain schools qualify for new construction (which would have cost them funding.)
The Arizona Republic reported that “lawmakers heaped praise on House Appropriations Committee Chairman Justin Olson, R-Mesa, for brokering and agreement” that reversed cuts to public schools. Don’t know about you, but I see a recurring theme here and don’t think it is worth any praise. Our Republican-controlled Legislature makes a bunch of cuts to programs important to the majority of Arizonans so they can provide tax breaks to their corporate buddies. When the people get wind of it and complain, they restore some of the cuts and claim they are heroes for their hard work to restore the funding. Here’s an idea…how’s about you just don’t cut these programs in the first place? How’s about you realize the investment in education is the way forward to a brighter future for Arizona? How’s about you show you care more about children than corporations? Continue reading
Crossposted from DemocraticDiva.com
AKA A Confederacy Of Jagoffs
If you’re following Arizona politics right now you know that a big issue is Prop 123, which will be voted on next month here in a special election. It would significantly increase the annual distributions from the state land trust to schools and is touted as a solution to settling the lawsuit against the state for underfunding education since the recession.
This happens to be going on at the same time as budget negotiations, and as many critics of Governor Doug Ducey and skeptics of Prop 123 have noted, the Governor and GOP majority in the Lege are not exactly acting with anything resembling humility in advance of asking the electorate to forgive them for failing to fund public education. For one thing, they want to give charter schools $100 million out of a bare-bones budget. For another, they are poised to give $5 million to a think tank led by a libertarian crackpot named William J. Boyes, who hates public schools.
No, seriously, he hates public schools! Per Laurie Roberts in the AZ Republic: Continue reading
Posted in Arizona State Legislature, Ballot Referendas and Initiatives, Budgets, Campaigns, Charter Schools, Commentary, Corruption, Donna Gratehouse, Education, Elections, GOP War On..., Maricopa, Propositions, Racism, Taxes
Tagged Doug Ducey, laurie roberts, ludwig von mises, mises institute, murray rothbard, prop 123, school choice, school privitization, william boyes
Open revolt in the Kansas GOP is now plaguing Governor Sam Brownback in his attempt to slash personal income taxes. His reasoning for the cuts was that it would encourage business expansion and hiring (sound familiar Arizonans?) But five years in, his plan hasn’t produced the promised results but rather, has the state budget in a crisis so deep that many of the Republicans that originally backed the plan are now jumping ship.
Brownback and the Kansas Legislature’s (where three-fourths of the seats are held by Republicans) plan was to cut top personal income tax (surprise, surprise) by 29 percent and exempt more than 330,000 farmers and businesshh owners from income taxes. The predicted business expansion didn’t happen, and now the state is in trouble. Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle said the Legislature still supports low income taxes, but they’d “prefer to see some real solutions coming from the Governor’s office.” What a concept!
What’s the chances Governor Ducey and Senator Biggs are paying attention to what’s happening in Kansas and…learning the right lesson from it? Uh yeah, that’s what I thought. It is obvious though that they are working from the same playbook in making cuts. Brownback’s most recent cuts have been to universities and public education (sound familiar?) And yes, just like in Arizona, Kansas has siphoned off big money from highway projects (over $750 million in just two years.)
Thus far, Brownback isn’t backing down and blames a slow global economy for his state’s troubles (guess the buck doesn’t stop on his desk.) An economist for the conservative Tax Foundation however, says those benefitting are pocketing the tax savings rather than using it to expand and create jobs. One former ally of Brownback who is now a critic said the continuing budget turmoil has been “just amateurish.”
I don’t know that I would characterize Arizona’s budget issues as amateurish, maybe self-serving instead. I’ve written before about the fallacy of trickle-down economics, there are plenty of examples that show it is a very flawed theory. Why do GOP lawmakers continue to go down that rabbit hole? Could it be that they are considering deep pockets more than the big picture for our state and all its citizens?
I’m currently reading the book “The Political Brain” in which author Drew Westen makes the point that the Democrats don’t have, and haven’t had, “a plan.” Think I prefer that to the Republican plan which seems to be to do the same thing over and over and expect different results. At least there’s a chance the Dems will get it right every now and then. The GOP’s plan is just literally the definition of insanity.
Crossposted from DemocraticDiva.com
For some reason it has escaped notice here in Arizona, but Governor Doug Ducey put his name on a letter from Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker to Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL), who chairs the Agriculture Subcommittee in Congress, about the supposed need to drug test SNAP recipients so as to break their “dependence on government”.
Dear Mr. Aderholt:
As you know, multiple states have recently enacted drug-testing provisions as part of the state-based requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, otherwise known as SNAP or food stamps. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service administers this program at the federal level, but disagrees with these drug-testing efforts.
We believe that Congress specifically gave states the flexibility to decide whether to implement this common-sense reform in the 1996 Welfare Reform Act. This Act provides that “States shall not be prohibited by the Federal Government from testing welfare recipients for use of controlled substances nor from sanctioning welfare recipients who test positive for use of controlled substances.” 21 U.S.C. § 862(b). Continue reading
Posted in Arizona State Legislature, Budgets, Civil Rights, Commentary, Congress, Donna Gratehouse, Drug Policy, Economics, Education, GOP War On..., Governor, IOKIYAR, Legislation, Maricopa, Racism, Taxes
Tagged Doug Ducey, drug testing food stamp recipients, Scott Walker, tuition tax credits