Yesterday (February 9, 2021), Arizona Superior Court Judge John Hannah issued a blistering ruling against the opponents of Invest in Ed-Proposition 208 who had sought to prevent its taking effect.
This is a great victory for children and public education in the Grand Canyon State.
Please click here to read fellow blogger Larry Bodine’s account of the court ruling.
Reaction to the ruling from pro-public education groups in Arizona has been universally positive.
The Prop208 Team issued a statement through social media that read:
“Earlier today, the #Prop208 coalition won the Invest in Education election for what feels like the 19th time. The Superior Court of Arizona denied our opponents’ request for a preliminary injunction to halt the implementation of The Invest in Education Act. In human terms, this victory means we’re another step closer to pumping a much-needed $1 billion into Arizona schools. $1 billion in the first year alone, that is. Ever since Election Day, our incredible legal defense team has stayed two steps ahead of anyone trying to overturn the will of the voters and dismantle the new law. Yes, we have several more challenges ahead. We know it won’t be easy. We just want you to know that we’re prepared. We’ll be in touch again soon with more ways to help. Until then, thank you for all you do. You should be proud of what you’ve accomplished for Arizona students.”
House Democratic Caucus Communications Director Robbie Sherwood, speaking for Democratic House Leader Reginald Bolding commented:
“It’s obviously a win for the will of voters that Invest in Ed can move forward. Denying an injunction also speaks to the weakness of the arguments by public education opponents trying to stop increased investment in our schools. We’re looking forward to Invest in Ed being the law of the land.”
The Arizona Education Association, led by Joe Thomas, also issued a statement which relayed:
“Today, INVESTinED had a great day in court! The Superior Court of Arizona upheld the Invest in Education Act passed by voters last November. Judge John Hannah’s ruling allows the Invest in Education surcharge on the wealthy to take effect and bring in almost $1 billion for schools.
This is another victory for students and educators. For decades, our state’s leaders have underfunded public education. Arizona is suffering a schoolteacher and staff shortage, our school buildings are crumbling, and our textbooks and technology are outdated. The pandemic has only made these problems worse. That’s why educators gathered petitions and reached out to voters to get INVESTinED passed. That’s why Arizona voters passed INVESTinED – to fund our schools when our state’s leaders failed.
The court released its ruling this morning denying the request for an injunction on the Invest in Education Act. The lawsuit was brought forth by the Goldwater Institute, which is funded by the Koch brothers and pushes the agenda for the corporate bill mill known as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).”
Dawn Penich-Thacker, the Communications Director for Save Our Schools Arizona, wrote:
“This ruling is great news and a good sign that Arizona voters will finally have their wishes respected in terms of new investments into public education. While some are doing everything they can to stop the will of the voters, from frivolous lawsuits like this one to unwanted private school voucher expansions, voters have been clear time and again: we want to fund our public schools.”
David Lujan, a former Democratic Legislative leader and the current head of the Arizona Center for Economic Progress, stated:
“We are happy and not surprised that Prop 208 continues to beat back legal challenges. I expect that will continue as Prop 208 is constitutional and legally sound. The law went into effect on January 1 and the sky has not fallen – businesses and rich people are still moving to Arizona and millions of dollars are now being raised for Arizona’s public schools. It is disappointing that our opponents continue to try to stop Prop 208 in the courts and at the legislature. They will not succeed. Arizona voters have spoken and it is time get our public schools the resources they need.”
It is time for the opponents of Proposition 208 to give up and let public schools start to rebuild after close to 11 years of underfunding them.
The Children, Families, and Educators of Arizona deserve a well-financed and first-class public education system.
The opponents of Proposition 208 should not stand in their way any longer.