From Ward 6 Councilman Steve Kozachik regarding Prop. 123:
“Special Election On another elections-related note, the State has called for a special election next May 17th on the issue of school funding. Here’s a very rough outline of why it’s coming. The voters determined that the State was to pay a cost of living increase on public school funding. The State did it for a while and then decided to stop, citing budget difficulties. They were sued by the schools and lost. The back-payments due to the system are in the hundreds of millions of dollars. The State is looking for a way out. To that end, the Governor has proposed dipping into the State Land Trust Fund and pulling money out of that to pay the schools. To do that, they need voter approval. That’s where you come in.
The Metropolitan Education Commission is hosting speakers who will make their pitch for both the pro and the con on the ballot question. On Wednesday, December 16th, Dr. Timothy Ogle (Arizona School Boards Association) and Andrew Morrill (Arizona Education Association) will speak on the issue. Then, on January 20th, State Treasurer Jeff DeWit will take the stage. The first group is in favor of taking the money from the Trust Fund, and Treasurer DeWit is not. Both forums will be held at the downtown library, 101 N Stone at 4pm, and both will have time for Q&A interaction with the speakers.
This is a significant issue for the public education system. It’s important that as many attend and participate as can. The Trust Fund is already earmarked to fund public education. The State is proposing to use it to settle debts, as declared by the Court. It’s also proposing a level of funding that will impact the principal reserves in the Fund. Not only are they using education money to pay education debt, there’s some question as to whether dipping into the principal is even legal. As with our elections cases, this will be interesting to watch play out between now and May.”
From AZ Blue Meanie: “Dewit has been vocal about his opposition to Prop 123. The full agenda of the meeting can be found at the MEC office at 930 E. Broadway, or call 670-0055. MEC can also be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.The full agenda of the meeting can be found at the MEC office at 930 E. Broadway, or call 670-0055. MEC can also be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com.”