Metropolitan Education Commission forum on Proposition 123



    From Ward 6 Councilman Steve Kozachik regarding Prop. 123:

    Arizona state treasurer Jeff DeWit
    Arizona state treasurer Jeff DeWit

    “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 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”

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    Carolyn Classen
    Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014. Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter. She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, (since Jan. 2013).


    1. Full house in Main library LL1 to hear Treasurer DeWit speak on being the 33rd Treasurer of State of Az, guaradian of the school land trust, which he said would be “raided” if Prop. 123 should pass on May 17,2016. He and former state Treas. Dean Martin both testified against this proposal to settle the education lawsuit, but is being supported by AEA and TEA. Questions from the audience were about the status of the education lawsuit (whether the judiciary vs. legislature could occur in AZ), position of local superintendents, teachers, Prop. 201, what would happen if 123 fails, how to change the AZ legislators, effective messaging to vote no, effect on state constitution, any other alternatives? Morgan Abraham, chair of Vote no on 123 was introduced. Also present – LD 9 House Rep. Dr. Randy Friese, Pima County Dem Chair Jo Holt, former TUSD School Bd. member Mary Belle McCorkle.

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