In a not surprising move, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge John Hannah declared Proposition 208 unconstitutional because the tax revenues it collected, due to Republicans are not willing to fund what the public schools need, would have exceeded the State Expenditure Limit.
In his ruling, reported by NPR, Judge Hannah wrote:
“This Court understands the remand order as a direction to declare Proposition 208 unconstitutional in its entirety, and to enjoin its operation permanently, if the Court finds as a fact that the annual education spending limits imposed by the Arizona Constitution will prevent Arizona’s public schools from spending a ‘material’ amount of Proposition 208 tax revenue in 2023. On that basis, the Court is obligated to strike down Proposition 208.”
Doug Ducey gloats on Proposition 208’s grave.
The Governor of Arizona did not waste time gloating on Proposition 208’s demise, posting on social media:
While we expect the ruling may be appealed, we are confident the Arizona Supreme Court will find 208 unconstitutional, as they did last year. Arizona is – and will remain – a state that knows how to prioritize education while keeping taxes low and attracting jobs. 2/2
— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) March 11, 2022
What about the will of the people Mr. Governor?
What about the money schools need to pay the teachers the salaries they deserve?
Where has the flat tax and supply side economics ever worked for a sustained period of time? In a word: nowhere.
Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman sees the death of Proposition 208 as a tragedy and nothing to cheer about.
Kathy Hoffman, Arizona’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, in contrast to Mr. Ducey, saw the death of Proposition 208 differently, posting after the Governor:
Parents don’t care about who won or lost political points today. They care about the answers to these questions, and there is still time for Governor @dougducey and this legislature to act.
— Kathy Hoffman (@Supt_Hoffman) March 11, 2022
The activists behind Proposition 208 in 2020 and 2018 will learn the lessons of both experiences and should craft two new initiatives:
- To permanently do away with the State Expenditure Limit for public schools. That is apparently already in the works.
- A new Invest in Ed program that seeks to provide all the features the 2020 one (passed by the majority of the people in the November elections) did.
It is also time to elect a whole slate of state leaders from the Governor to the whole State Legislature that are committed to public education. Any candidate that supported what happened today, opposed Proposition 208, routinely voted for voucher expansion or any anti public school or child measure should be persona non grata when voting occurs this November.
It is time to stop rewarding candidates who are content with being close to or last in the nation on education funding.
Vote for the people that will put children and public schools first in November.