In a unanimous ruling by the Arizona State Supreme Court this afternoon (August 18, 2020,) a lower Maricopa Superior Court ruling taking the Invest in Ed Ballot Initiative off the November ballot for an incomplete explanation of the measure has been overturned.
Arizona’s Children and Educators have won.
Invest in Ed is back on the November Ballot.
Now the battle to convince the voters to pass it begins.
Please click on the State Supreme Court’s ruling below.
Reaction among leading Arizona Democrats has been quick and universally favorable.
Arizona Democratic Party Chairperson Felecia Rotellini
“ I am grateful to the Arizona Supreme Court for ruling today in favor of our initiative process. Arizonans across the state can now breathe a sigh of relief because so many worked tirelessly to make sure this initiative made the ballot, only to have it nearly stolen away. Today’s ruling preserves our ability to take issues to the people and rightfully allows Arizona voters the opportunity to provide badly needed resources to our schools by voting “Yes” for this initiative in November.”
Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman posted on social media:
Educators worked tirelessly to give Arizonans the option of increasing public school funding in November. I'm grateful for today's unanimous AZ Supreme Court decision. Let's get to work to #InvestinED! https://t.co/SXIB2cV0Uq
— Kathy Hoffman (@kathyhoffman_az) August 19, 2020
Amber Gould, the Chairwoman of the Invest in Education Campaign issued a statement which read:
“Today’s ruling by the Arizona Supreme Court keeping Invest in Education on the November ballot is an important victory because it gives millions of Arizona voters the opportunity to put more resources into our schools. We are confident voters will say ‘yes’ to improving Arizona’s K-12 schools by voting Yes on Invest in Education this November. The Invest in Education Initiative was crafted to benefit all Arizona’s 1.1 million K-12 students while not taxing working and middle-class families impacted by the pandemic.”
Tucson Mayor Regina Romero relayed:
“Amazing to hear that Invest in Ed is back on the ballot by unanimous decision. This is a victory for all teachers, parents, volunteers, and organizers who have put their heart and soul into this effort.”
Maricopa County Democratic Chairperson Steven Slugocki commented:
“Great news for public education. Let voters, not judges, make the decision on this.
I am thrilled for everyone who worked so hard to get this on the ballot, congratulations. We look forward to passing this in November.”
Stand for Children-Arizona Executive Director Rebecca Gau sent a statement which said:
“Today, the Arizona Supreme Court stood with you and kept the Invest in Education Initiative on the November ballot. Now, millions of Arizona voters will have the opportunity to put more resources into our schools. We have made Arizona history because of your hard work and support, and we cannot thank you enough!”
“Our victory at the Arizona Supreme Court, while incredibly important, is just another step towards winning on Election night. Here are three things you can do to help right now!”
- “Sign up to volunteer – we need your help to win in November!
- Chip in $5 for a yard sign OR sign up for a volunteer shift to get one.
- If you, your family members or friends own businesses, we need their support. Please ask them to endorse the Invest in Education campaign today.”
Arizona Center for Economic Progress head and former Democratic Legislative leader David Lujan posted on social media:
“This is a big victory because it will give Arizona voters the opportunity to put millions of new dollars every year into our public schools for teacher salaries, increasing the pay of support staff, reducing class sizes and career and technical education. Investing in education is good for business and good for our economy!”
Maricopa County School Superintendent Democratic Nominee Jeanne Casteen relayed:
“Today is a huge victory for educators, students, families, and everyone in Arizona! I was worried that the will of the voters would once again be disregarded, but we now have a pathway to fully fund education in Arizona, and I couldn’t be more pleased. We still have work to do, and we know that others are working to deny our voices, so that means we must KEEP WORKING to get our message out. We need to show up at board meetings, virtual events, phone-banking events, and safe literature drops to ensure our state’s education system is fully funded. Congratulations to everyone who did all they could to advocate for public education, but we are not done. Find a candidate, campaign, ballot initiative, WHATEVER, so that we can change the face of public education in Arizona and take care of the needs of the WHOLE child.”
Arizona Legislative District Eight State House Democratic Nominee Sharon Girard wrote:
“The Invest In Ed Initiative opinion of Supreme Court Judge Coury, overturned today by the Arizona Supreme Court, was a blatantly biased and personal expression of his political views rather than a decision based on law and the facts in the case. I applaud the court’s decision today to reinstate this initiative to the November ballot.”
“With the Invest In Ed Initiative back on November’s ballot, the voters of Arizona will now have their say in providing a revenue source to support our public schools. The Republican-controlled legislature has failed to do their constitutional duty to provide the funds needed to support our teachers, support staff, and students.”
“Once elected and with the passage of this initiative into law I will work to ensure it is fully implemented.”
“But there is still work to be done. Big money and special interest will be pouring large sums of money into a campaign to defeat this ballot initiative. You can find out how to help by going to https://investined.com to see how you can help either with your time or money to get this initiative over the finish line in November.”
Creighton School Board Candidate Lindsey McCaleb
“I am beyond thrilled to hear that the Arizona Supreme Court has made the rational and intelligent decision to overturn the Superior Court’s decision, and to allow for Invest in Ed to remain on the ballot.”
“Since the last time it was removed from the ballot, the language was revised in order to address previous misconceptions. The initiative was thoroughly explained to voters all over Arizona this past year by volunteers before they were asked to sign, ensuring there was no confusion. And over 436,000 voters signed the petition to get it on the ballot! The voters deserve to vote on this initiative! Those who fought to keep it off of the ballot only have corporate and private interests in mind and do not want to give our Arizonans the chance to fund our public schools, which is a right all voters have. I am relieved for our students, for our teachers, for our state, and for all of the volunteers who worked tirelessly to ensure Invest in Ed made it to the ballot. In November, vote YES on the Invest in Ed initiative!”
Kyrene School Board Candidate Wanda Kolomyjec
“I am very pleased that the Supreme Court of Arizona upheld the rights of Arizonans to create ballot measures that are important to them. The Invest In Ed ballot initiative was vitally important prior to the financial challenges that COVID-19 will surely bring, but now it is even more imperative that we find new ways to support our schools. As a small business owner who will be affected by this initiative if it passes, my husband and I are more than happy to step up and support public schools. I suspect we are not alone in our desire to help with this important public good.”
Cave Creek Governing School Board Candidate Jeff Fortney
“What a pleasant surprise that the Arizona Supreme Court looked at Judge Coury’s insulting and condescending strike down of Invest In Ed’s initiative and tossed it – unanimously.”
“What the majority of the legislature refused to do – create a viable, sustainable cash flow specifically to support public education in Arizona – the people did. Schools have been underfunded in Arizona for the last 12 years. That is unacceptable. Gutted public education funding, lowest in the national teacher pay, support staff pay, training, mentoring, are all addressed in this initiative. The legislators stalled. The people spoke up. Now the people can vote.”
“The Invest In Ed proposition will still have a tough battle. There are going to be all kinds of groups attacking this proposition. Some of what they say will be true. Some will not. That’s politics in America these days. It’s not perfect. It is aimed at those making more than $250,000 individually or $500,000 jointly. This will fire up those that get mad at the “Taxing the Rich” agenda. The Truth – taxes for this income level have been cut and cut and cut. This surcharge will still not raise things to previous levels. There are those that say it will destroy small businesses. Again, the truth – this surcharge is on business owners’ NET income (after all taxes and expenses). Hopefully, a campaign of accurate, pointed truths will override the lies, misrepresentation, and dirty money.”
“Arizona’s public education system is in a crisis. The pandemic is only going to make things that much worse. Legislators eviscerated public education once – and we’re still paying for it. They will surely do it again now post-COVID. Something needs to be done. This is it. This is the time. Maybe it’s not perfect. But as Gretchen Rubin Voltaire said, “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”
Tucson Unified School Board Candidate Adam Ragan
“Over 430,000 Arizonans–almost twice the required number–signed petitions to put Invest In Ed on the ballots this November so Arizona voters could decide to prioritize education funding. A well-funded opposition tried to do in the courtroom what they knew they couldn’t do at the ballot. They failed to convince the Supreme Court of their flimsy arguments. The Court’s holding today not only upholds the laws of Arizona and our most sacred right to citizen legislation, but it allows Arizonans to vote their values this November by passing Invest In Ed and putting almost a billion dollars into our schools. I urge every Arizonan to check/verify/update their voter registration at ServiceArizona.com, to sign up for the PEVL to vote by mail, to make sure their ballot is voted when they get it and then to verify it’s been received when they send it in. The stakes couldn’t be any higher this November and our kids and educators are counting on us all to vote for Invest In Ed.”
This November, many Democratic-leaning voters have many reasons to turn out and vote including:
- Selecting a new President.
- Electing a new Senator.
- Voting for new House Representatives in CD Four, Five, Six, and Eight.
- Making the Arizona Legislature, County Offices, and Corporation Commission Bluer.
- Properly funding public schools for the first time in almost 12 years.
- The General Election Day is on November 3. 2020. Please see the below graphic for all-important voting dates.
- Please check your voter registration at vote.
- Register/sign up for the Permanent Early Voting List (PEVL) in Arizona or any state that allows early or absentee balloting and mail. Arizona residents can sign up at vote.
- Arizona residents, mail your General Election ballot by October 27, 2020, for the November 3, 2020 election. With recent issues with the Post Office, you should consider mailing them out by October 23, 2020, if not earlier.
- Check-in with the Secretary of State’s office where you live to verify your mail-in ballot was received, processed, verified, and counted.
- Know the voter ID requirements in your state.
- If you can, support Clean Election Candidates with a small contribution.
- Also, please remember to stay informed on all the candidates and vote for all the offices on the ballot.
- Also, remember to research all the ballot initiatives, sign to get them on the ballot if you support the measure, and vote on them as well.