Arizona Republicans still do not get it.

With days to go until the state goes into fiscal disarray because Republicans in the legislature are not mature enough to negotiate with Democrats on a 2023 budget, members of the former party of Lincoln, led by State Representative Ben Toma, are still trying to craft a financial blueprint that, in essence, stiffs public schools (both traditional and charters with a measly pittance of $200 million) while expanding private school voucher opportunities for the rich (essentially another tax cut for them that they do not need.)

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Furthermore, the new funding crumbs for public schools would only become available if the voucher expansion is approved.

Hearings on these proposals are scheduled for today, June 15, 2022.

Ranking Democratic House Education member Legislative District 17 State Representative Jennifer Pawlik, reacting to the latest developments, posted:

 

It appears that Republican holdouts Michelle Udall (who wants to be the new Superintendent of Public Instruction) and Paul Boyer (who has links to the charter chain, Great Hearts Academy) are not satisfied with the new funding for public schools Tomas is proposing.

Legislative District 18 Representative and LD 12 State Senate Candidate Mitzi Epstein captured the sentiment of all sane legislators who want to fully invest in public schools  by posting:

Arizona House Democrats chastised the Tomas ideas, posting:

LD 28 State Representative Kelli Butler added:

Save Our Schools Arizona, who will be hosting a press gathering at 9:00 a.m. this morning at the State Capitol to protest what the Republicans were offering, posted on what Tomas was attempting:

David Lujan, the head of the Children’s Action Alliance and former Democratic legislative leader, issued two postings highlighting the need to adopt a budget and what the people support for public education spending.

The people have spoken. They do not want hidden tax cuts for the rich under the guise of private school voucher expansion.

They want public schools fully funded.

The $200 million that Tomas and his buddies are proposing is not sufficient. The $800 to $900 million that would have been provided by Proposition 208-Invest in Ed and supported by everyone, including possibly Senator Boyer would be.

It is time for Republicans to finally lead like their name suggests: For the public and fully fund all public schools.

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