Tag Archives: tuition

AG Brnovich’s P.R. stunt over university tuition hikes rejected by the court

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reported last year that “State support for students at Arizona’s three public universities has fallen by 53.8 percent since 2008, more than three times the national decline over the same period, according to a new report.” Arizona cuts to college student support still among steepest in nation. “Arizona’s 53.8 percent reduction was largest in the nation.”

The Arizona Board of Regents, forced to deal with our lawless Tea-Publican legislature’s abject failure to meet its constitutionally mandated duty to support public education, had to raise tuition and fees at the state’s universities in order to maintain operations and to keep the doors open:

Article XI, Section 6: The Arizona Constitution mandates a “system of common schools” that are “open to all pupils” and are “as nearly free as possible.”

Article IX, Section 3: The Arizona Constitution also mandates “(T)he Legislature shall provide by law for an annual tax sufficient, with other sources of revenue, to defray the necessary ordinary expenses of the state . . . “

Article XI, Section 10: The Arizona Constitution also mandates “taxation” to “insure proper maintenance of all state educational institutions.”

When Doug Ducey ran against Fred Duval for governor four years ago, rather than focus on the lawlessness of our Tea-Publican legislature, Ducey and his GOP allies built a campaign around blaming the Arizona Board of Regents,  former regent Fred Duval in particular, for skyrocketing tuition at the state’s universities. GOP ad blasts DuVal for tuition hikes.

It was perhaps the single most dishonest misdirection campaign ever run in the state of Arizona. Unfortunately, it succeeded with Arizona’s low-information voters.

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Education Shorts

Catching up on my “to do” list on education issues in Arizona.

In late November, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities released a new analysis of school funding in 48 states which shows that funding for Arizona’s kindergarten to grade 12 public school system remains nearly 14 percent below what it was before the Great Recession hit in 2007. The Arizona Capitol Times reports, Arizona school funding still lagging, report shows:

The study by the Washington, D.C.-based nonpartisan research institute showed that even with an infusion of money since Gov. Doug Ducey took office in 2016, the state’s per-pupil spending is well below its 2008 funding levels when adjusted for inflation. It also said per-pupil formula spending dropped last year by 1.2 percent.

Ducey has touted his efforts to boost K-12 spending, and laughingly proclaimed himself to be the “education governor.”

“Arizona has put more money into K-12 education over the last three years than any other state in the country, without raising taxes,” he told KTAR radio earlier this month. “It has been the focus of every budget that we’ve had.”

But much of that increase came from settling a lawsuit brought by schools that alleged the state illegally cut spending during the recession. [And that case was settled for substantially less than the restitution actually owed by our lawless Tea-Publican legislature for its theft of education funds.]  The settlement added some state spending but most of the new cash came from increasing withdrawals from the state land trust dedicated to schools.

The study found that Arizona school funding hasn’t recovered from the cuts despite the new spending and could be getting worse, said Mike Leachman, the center’s state fiscal research director.

“It’s clear that Arizona school funding is down significantly and the data we have suggest further worsening at least in terms of formula funding, which is the major source for general support for all school districts in the state,” he said.

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Ducey v. Brnovich on ABOR tuition lawsuit

Doug Ducey, the ice cream man hired by Koch Industries to run their Southwest subsidiary formerly know as the state of Arizona, is an ex officio member of the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR), recently sued by Attorney General Mark Brnovich in a publicity stunt over high tuition rates at the state universities.

Governor Ducey says his AG Mark Brnovich is full-o-crap. Ducey stands by ABOR, says tuition rates are constitutional:

Arizona’s three universities are in compliance with constitutional requirements to keep instruction “as nearly free as possible,” Gov. Doug Ducey said Thursday, despite what Attorney General Mark Brnovich contends.

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More to the point, the governor said he believes the regents, in setting tuition — and even in imposing sharp increases during the past 15 years — are keeping the cost of instruction within what the constitution requires.

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