Dems not happy with raid on school funding
by David Safier
I posted earlier today (What?) about the plan to withhold $300 million in state payments to school districts. That's bad enough, given how cash strapped schools are, but it's not the worst part. This is supposed to be a rollover, where you withhold payments now but make them sometime in the near future. The truly vile part of the proposed legislation is, if a district has some cash in its bank account, it will never see the money the state held back.
Dem legislators are incensed. Here are a few comments.
“You can call this a loan, call it a roll-over, dress it up however you like, but the bottom line is withholding this $300 million payment with two days notice puts a terrible burden on schools and creates uncertainty for teachers and families. The fact that the state can’t pay its bills doesn’t justify taking away the ability of school districts to pay theirs.”
“It’s not right to take taxes paid by property owners in support of their community schools and use that money to pay the state’s bills. Districts will likely have to increase local property taxes to pay for what these funds are obligated for. This kind of backhanded tax increase is not honest or fair for voters. We all know that revenue is needed to protect education, but these budget bills raise taxes while hurting education.”
“This continues the largest raid on our children’s education in Arizona state history, generated by the Governor and Republican legislature. There are other alternatives that could be used to address the remaining shortfall and, make no mistake, supporters of this legislation are making a policy choice to place the burden on schools yet again. There is no excuse for waiting until the last minute and not considering more reasonable options.”
“It is way past time for Leadership and it is disappointing that when the Governor finally engages with the legislature to address the budget problem, the result is a bill that places the budget deficit burden on schools. This just confirms that good, common sense leadership will not come from the Governor and Republican legislative leaders on the budget issue.”