2010 election is all about the schools

by David Safier

Note to 2010 Democratic candidates and strategists. The election will be about schools and the children who attend them.

It won't be about budgets or budget cuts. It'll be about budget cuts to schools that deprive children of the opportunity to learn.

It won't be about taxes. It'll be about finding the revenue we need to fully fund our schools for the sake of our children.

It won't be about conservative or liberal. It'll be about who has a plan to give schools the means to educate our children to their full potential

And by the way, it won't be about education. Education is an abstraction. It'll be about schools, real brick and mortar buildings filled with real children being taught by real teachers using up-to-date textbooks and technology.

Candidates who cannot show they are 100% for schools, not only with rhetoric but with money and action, will lose. Candidates who can convince the voters they will fully fund schools so every parent's child will have the opportunity to learn and grow and be ready for future challenges will win.

Republicans are the masters of coming up with simple campaigns based on concrete, hot button issues. Democrats tend to be wonky and talk about policy. In 2010, we have a solid, concrete issue to run on where there is an absolute, clear distinction between Democrats and Republicans. And Democrats are definitely on the side of the angels on this one. We have to make sure the voters know it.

11 responses to “2010 election is all about the schools

  1. “Cut back US military spending (and taxation and borrowing) and people would have far more money to spend on education of their own choosing.”

    I agree our government abuses the skills and strength of our military. I am a veteran and do not oppose cutting military spending but more importantly, I believe in cutting tax funded “entitlement” spending.

    I have a skill that I compete for the oppurtunity of employment to earn a wage. I dont believe a 75% increase in Arizona “entitlement” spending encourages any competition to earn a wage. While only a 5% increase in Arizona education spending is threatened and prevents acquiring competitve skills, creating dependancy on “entitlement”.

  2. You make a very important point. We need to be clear and concise on matters of restoring funding for education and the tools (i.e teachers,books,admins,etc,etc) that actually make the system run.

  3. A school teacher running is a good idea. I hope you will look at my campaign site and support my effort for 2010. starkyforsenate.com


    Stuart Starky

  4. The next question becomes…

    Will anyone have the balls to recall these rotten bastards for what they are doing to this state?

  5. all good points and Dave’s right, we live in the age of the sound bite, unfortunately, so the messages have to be short and have a ring to them. but the main point, that 2010 be all about the schools is right on. we know their agenda and they are underestimating the power of parents and communities to band together on this and get into their districts to talk to their constituents. the families with kids/relatives/friends in public schools make up their own kind of supermajority!

  6. I’d like to point out some unwelcome but real aspects discussed above.
    I believe there are plenty of people, call then voters or taxpayers if you will, who will not have their opinion framed through the use of slick terms like “finding revenue”.
    As for repealing the Arizona supermajority requirement of tax increases I will give you my opinion that the concept is as likely to be repealed as the US electoral college will be eliminated. Plenty of complaints will be lodged but never enough to adopt an better alternate system.
    By far the biggest impediment in the US to better education is the US Empire occupying countries such as South Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan (not to mention that you can hardly learn anything if you and your demonized enemy end up dead as a result of military enlistment). Cut back US military spending (and taxation and borrowing) and people would have far more money to spend on education of their own choosing.

  7. Ooh David, I like it!

  8. Wonky, wonky, wonky, Rex. I agree completely, but it’s a tough concept for people to wrap their minds around, which means it’s not an election changer.

    But framed as a school issue, maybe it is. Let the majority decide if we want to fund world class schools. Don’t let a minority that thinks we should dismantle public education take away our rights. . . . Something like that.

    “Majority rules, for the sake of our schools.” It has a nice ring to it.

  9. It is past time that SOMEONE in elective office talk about repealing the “supermajority” required for the Legislature to approve both tax increases and rollbacks of tax cuts. This monstrosity was passed by the voters 15 years ago and has caused every legislator and governor since then to take some options off the table every year. Don’t we elect these people to make tough choices? Shouldn’t all of those choices be presented to them in a fairhanded manner? Why do revenue measures require more votes than other decisions of conscience made by those elected to serve in a representative democracy?

    David, strategy is important and I agree that a rapidly growing state like ours ignores the needs of public schools at its peril. However, we have in place a significant structural impediment that allows some politicians to hide behind it and prevents those who want to consider holistic solutions from proposing anything comprehensive. This is especially of concern now when we are facing a $3 billion deficit next year. The “supermajority” IS the fabled elephant in the room and the fears of those who opposed this foolish measure in 1994 are now being fully realized, although we have dealt with its effects through every budgetary debate since its passage.

    Times were different in 1994 and so were ideologies. It would seem to me that some of the current GOP members of the Legislature, given their avowed populist bent, would be OK with the voters of this state having the chance to reconsider this measure. I would like to see one of these folks (Frank Antenori, perhaps?) join with a likeminded Democrat and ask their colleagues to put something on the ballot to ask the voters to repeal the “supermajority” provision.

    Legislators who oppose tax increases of ANY kind ANY time ought to be asked to make those arguments on a level playing field. The “supermajority” prevents reasoned arguments about revenue measures and gives them a higher status than other bills. Arizona will never be a place where reasoned and logical debates about taxes and spending can take place as long as it exists. Let’s debate it again!

  10. should we have to wait for 2010? Some may be ripe for a recall…

  11. Absolutely. Williams, Melvin, Antenori, Gowan…..