Thanks to a moronic ruling by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Christopher Coury, the Invest in Ed initiative, for the second time in two years, will have to fight for its ballot life in front of the Arizona Supreme Court.
How can that be when the people behind the Invest in Ed ballot revised the language of the initiative so it could pass legislative council muster?
How can that be when 435,669 people citizens turned out during a pandemic and signed the petition to put Invest in Ed on the November ballot when only 237,645 signatures were required?
Well it can be when Judge Coury issued an impossible ruling declaring that the writers of the Invest in Ed Ballot Initiative did not fully disclose in the 100-word summary all the provisions of the measure, stating:
“Instead of identifying all principal provisions in the Initiative’s description, Defendant Invest in Education circulated an opaque ‘trojan horse’ of a 100-word description, concealing principal provisions of the Initiative.”
Please click to review the full ruling below.
In three words: Bull Fecal Matter!
The 435,669 people knew what they were signing.
As reporting from the Arizona Republic reminded its readers, when the Arizona Supreme Court threw out the original Invest in Ed Ballot in 2018, it said that:
“…. the court acknowledged that year that the 100-word summary of an initiative does not need to be impartial and it does not need to detail every provision.”
Hopefully, that perspective will be reaffirmed when Invest in ED 2.0 goes back to the Arizona Supreme Court.
The reaction has been swift and largely negative towards this moronic ruling.
Invest in Ed released a statement which read:
Arizona Supreme Court Again to Decide Fate
of Arizona Public Schools in Appeal Following Bizarre, Politically-Charged, Lower-Court Ruling
PHOENIX – Disappointed and confused by the “political” ruling issued today by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Christopher Coury, the #InvestInEd campaign is again headed to the Arizona Supreme Court – the very bench that kicked off the 2018 measure. The campaign’s appeal is imminent.
“Our state has more than 1.1 million K-12 students that Judge Coury let down today with his judicial activism – and that’s shameful,” said Joe Thomas, President of AEA. “435,669 voters signed this petition during the COVID-19 pandemic and triple-digit heat to let voters decide how to fix the Arizona education crisis. Instead of respecting the voters, Judge Coury inserted his own political views throughout his baseless ruling. We will appeal immediately.”
Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman also released a statement which read:
“As public schools start what will surely be their most difficult school year in recent history, this decision only emphasizes the need for leaders to provide diverse funding streams for our vastly under-resourced schools. I continue to call on the Arizona legislature for more secure school funding and Congress for additional relief dollars.”
Arizona State House Democratic Leader Charlene Fernandez wrote:
“Our public schools deserve better than this. This ruling – which elevates a technicality over our constitutional right to direct democracy – disregards the 400,000 plus Arizona voters who wanted this to go forward. Voters knew exactly what they were signing with Invest in Ed, we’ve been talking about this issue for years. There was no confusion. This judge held Invest in Ed to an impossible standard where a ballot measure must – in effect – use its opposition’s talking points and include minor aspects of the proposal that can’t possibly fit in 100 words. Arizona schools and teachers have been disrespected for too long, and the Arizona Supreme Court should right this wrong as soon as possible.”
Sophia Ramirez, a candidate for the Creighton School Board, probably expressed it best of all, relaying:
“I have taken the ruling against Invest in Ed personally. I am infuriated. My children deserve better. Our teachers deserve better. Our communities deserve better. I’m tired of our schools being underfunded and the moment we try to improve public education we are shut down. The state of Arizona has disappointed me in many ways and that is why we must take these types of rulings personally. If we do not, our children are left fighting alone. All I can say is the harder the hit, the stronger we get and fight back.”
Ms. Ramirez is right.
Children deserve better.
Teachers deserve better.
Communities deserve better.
Schools that have not been fully funded in 12 years deserve better.
The 435,669 people that braved the COVID 19 pandemic when the Arizona Supreme Court would not let them submit their petition signatures online deserve better.
Hopefully, this Supreme Court will side with the people this time over plutocratic reactionary interests and the ruling of one obtuse Maricopa County Superior Court jurist.
If not, those same 435,669 and their friends will make these reactionaries pay at the polls this November 3, 2020, by defeating their favorite fringe legislators.
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