Republicans & non-voters shouldn’t whine about school closures (video)


51st-15-sm72by Pamela Powers Hannley

As I was reading Arizona Daily Star education reporter Alexis Huicochea's Tweets from the latest public school closure hearing on last Saturday, I wondered to myself: How many of these parents– who are now gnashing their teeth about their kid's school– voted Republican or didn't vot at all?

Remember 2010, when the Repulbicans swept all of Arizona's statewide offices and won a super majority in the Arizona Legislature? Things were bad before that, but our state really slid into dark times with Governor Jan "George Wallace in a Skirt" Brewer and her henchmen– Attorney General Tom "Kill MAS" Horne, Public Instruction Head John "Charter Schools" Huppenthal, Secretary of State Ken "Birther" Bennet, and former State Senate President Russell "Get the Messicans" Pearce– in charge. They are the reason that Tucson Unified Schools District (TUSD) has a $17 million short fall. They are the reason TUSD is closing schools, increasing class sizes, and laying off teachers. And, actually, you are the reason, too.

Parents, grandparents, and activists– if you voted for Republican legislators, the governor, and her gang of thieves and/or voted against continuation of the sales tax for education and jobs (prop 204) OR didn't vote at all– shut up about school closures. You got want you wanted– smaller government, impoverished public education, and millions of dollars of corporate welfare. Hurray for the 1%! Screw you, children of Arizona. 

Your theme song plays after the jump.



  1. If the Arizona Republic put out a critical report then parents who value the Arizona Republic will take note of it and avoid the schools that provided poor schooling if indeed that is what the report identifies. Arizona does have a rather bad record of privatization when it comes to schools and prisons.

  2. There was a recent investigative report by the AZ Republic that showed widespread underperformance by charter schools in AZ. It also showed that most of those schools cut deals with the AZ Legislature to skirt regulations. Out charter school “system” is a hot bed of cronyism and corruption.

    Dave S. linked to this study in a post earlier this month.

  3. I personally had a great time in my all-Arizona all-government run schooling from K-12. I think that any system where the producers operate in a monopoly environment is going to produce sub-par products that cost too much. As for NCLB being a bad system I’ll agree.

  4. Pam, I often disagree vehemently with you, but you got this one right. Thanks. I’m sharing it far and wide. I have to include anger at people of my own political persuasion who didn’t want Prop 204 because it “wasn’t the right way” to fund education. Common thread? No kids in the education pipeline. Thanks for waiting on “the right way” folks, while my kid and his classmates have to struggle to get a decent education. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know who the real enemies are, but I’m not very happy with their “enablers” on the 204 issue. And I’m not very happy with the amount of effort I see these same folks making to BRING “the right way” to fund public ed to Arizona…..

  5. Well said, Bess. Perhaps Thane would like to research Arizona’s statistics related to imprisonment, teen pregnancy, high school drop-outs, college attendance, residents receiving government assistance, and numbers of low wage jobs as compared to New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, etc.

    I suspect that it would be easy to find evidence of poor outcomes due to all of the above during the last couple of decades in Arizona. We do have voters to thank for that.

  6. That’s total BS. If you live in an affluent zip code, you can get excellent public education. My high school is ranked 19th in NJ and 370th overall in the Time Magazine ranking of best high schools. If you’ve only ever lived in AZ, your view is skewed by poor funding and poor outcomes.
    As for your link, blame NCLB for students’ boredom with a reading and math only curricula.

  7. Republicans whining about pubic school closures? Are you kidding?

    Republicans were among the first to begin the white flight with their kids as soon as forced busing was implemented. They’ve been gone for ages.

    It’s us Democrats and our kids who are getting screwed because of the cockamamie ideas and harebrained schemes of some of our ultra-left brethren.

    Sorry, Pam, but you missed the boat on this one.

  8. If the Phoenix district where I teach is any indication, the school closure process may be playing out exactly as intended.

    Out of five schools slated for potential closure this year, three are located in very affluent areas, two are not (all have similar enrollment numbers). The two recommended for closure (and expected to be closed) are Title One schools. So, the voters you speak of (at least the ones in my district), will not see the closure of their neighborhood schools. FYI: Both schools’ student population will be absorbed by neighboring schools, which are also Title One schools.