Tag Archives: Invest in Ed

Invest in Ed is not the end for funding our schools. It is only the beginning.

There is great enthusiasm among Democratic circles that the Invest in Ed ballot initiative will pass this November and restore about two-thirds of the 2008 education funding levels by taxing our wealthiest residents.

The question now is what comes after. What dedicated source will make up the remainder to fund education at 2008 levels? And more importantly, will this mechanism fund our schools at 2019 levels and get us out of the cellar of national ranking scales for education funding?

While writing for Blog for Arizona, I’ve interviewed candidates running for LD office and Superintendent of Public Instruction, as well as Noah Karvelis of Red for Ed, which spearheaded the Invest in Ed initiative along with the Arizona Center for Economic Progress. Their immediate focus is passing Invest in Ed in November. As to what comes after, many echo Gubernatorial Candidate Steve Farley’s proposal to rescind corporate tax giveaways. Other ideas center around general tax reform, taking away tax credits (including those for vouchers) that go to private schools, a constitutional amendment that mandates school funding with inflation adjustments, increasing state bonding capacity for school construction, and – if absolutely necessary with no other available options – raising the sales tax.

So here’s the important public policy consideration to remember: Invest in Ed is not the end for funding our schools. It is only the beginning. If Democrats perform as expected this November, they will consider many ideas to bring Arizona out of the nation’s basement of funding education.





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GOP is a Cancerous Entity that is Reactionary, Undemocratic, and Xenophobic

It has come to this. Today’s America (and Arizona)  is the result of 40 years of conservative southern strategizing, negotiating Faustian bargains with segregationist Democrats and the evangelical community. It is the result of dog whistle ads like the “Willie Horton” ad in 1988, obstructing two Democratic administrations on issues like infrastructure, healthcare, raising wages, and immigration that the people wanted. It is the result of gerrymandering congressional districts that give them majorities when the Democrats win the national vote, and embracing underhanded tactics with domestic and (in the case of 2016) foreign sources that “stole” the election from the people’s choice for President.

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Lifting All People Up is the Goal of LD 15 State Senate Candidate Kristin Dybvig-Pawleko

LD 15 State Senate Candidate Kristin Dybvig-Pawelko

After bearing the ravings of a “gentleman,” in desperate need of decaf coffee, going through drive-through rage at the Starbucks at Tatum and Paradise Village Gateway in Phoenix, Democratic Candidate Ms. Kristin Dybvig-Pawleko (pronounced Dib Vig Pa Welko) passionately framed why she is the best candidate to win the open State Senate Seat in Legislative District 15 this November.

A first-time Clean Elections candidate, running as a team with LD 15 State House candidate and fellow educator Jennifer Samuels, Dybvig-Pawleko wants to bring a community-minded consensus solution approach to governing that emphasizes lifting all people up by building up our public education system, infrastructure, local and state economies, and stopping gun violence.

LD 15 includes parts or all of Peoria, Phoenix, Cave Creek, Paradise Valley, and Deer Valley. Unlike recent past elections where there has been minimal or no Democratic presence, this year features three Democrats vying for the two State House seats in LD 15 and a very enthusiastic State Senate Candidate in Ms. Dybvig-Pawleko.

The Republican running in the State Senate Race is current LD 15 House incumbent Heather Carter, who according to Ms. Dybvig-Pawleko, is a “nice lady” but does not follow  what residents want her to do in the legislature. A Representative that follows the reactionary party line, Ms. Carter (also an educator) did not support any of the measures that would assist educators in the classroom and voted with her party in making the processing of ballot initiatives more difficult, a woman’s right to choose more intrusive, allowing gun sales without a background check, and repealing campaign reform measures such as the revealing of campaign donors.

Realizing that the actions of local and state officeholders in areas like education, infrastructure, and zoning, most impact the people, Ms. Dybvig-Pawleko sees her pragmatic progressive ideas and approach to problem-solving as the best ways to represent the people in LD 15 and move the district and state forward.

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LD 12 Democratic Candidate Joe Bisaccia sees the 2018 Election as “A Campaign about the Future Versus the Preserving the Past.”

LD 12 Democratic State House Candidate Joseph Bisaccia

Over coffee and ice water at the Old Town Gilbert café Bergies Coffee, energetic and idealistic Democratic State House Clean Election Candidate Joe Bisaccia outlined his vision for how he would represent LD 12 if he won one of the two State House seats this November.

Bisaccia is one of many educators, inspired by the poor educational policies advanced by the reactionary Republican State Legislature along with the teacher-led Red for Ed Movement, who want to lead a pro-education campaign all the way to State House.

Arizona LD 12 includes parts or all of Gilbert, Queen Creek, and San Tan Valley. Eddie Farnsworth and Travis Grantham now represent the district in the State House. Mr. Bisaccia is one of three Democratic Candidates (the others being Lynsey Robinson and DJ Rothans) running to take one of those House seats. This is a great example of Democratic enthusiasm this election year because Democrats have not fielded candidates in the State House Race for this Legislative District in two out of the last three elections.

Bisaccia sees this race as “a campaign about the future versus the preserving the past” and is running on the issues of education, technology, jobs, and tax reform to advance a pragmatic liberal progressive agenda.

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LD 23 State House Candidate Eric Kurland sees 2018 as a Referendum on Public Education.

Educator and Democratic LD 23 State House Candidate Eric Kurland

Democrat Eric Kurland described his reasons and goals for seeking one of the LD 23 State House seats from orthodox conservatives John Kavanagh and Jay Lawrence.

Over breakfast at the Scottsdale restaurant Randy’s (very good food and service) at Chaparral and Hayden, he said he was motivated by his advocacy for children and the misdirection of our Dark-Money-serving Republican state leaders in promoting private school vouchers rather than fully funding public education, Kurland, an educator with the Scottsdale Unified School District, has launched a campaign, fueled by his army of education supporters, emphasizing education, campaign finance reform, and reforming the private prison system.

A legislative district that encompasses all or parts of Scottsdale, Fountain Hills, Paradise Valley, and Rio Verde, there has not been a Democratic representative from LD 23 in recent years. Eager to break that trend, Kurland will be running for one of two state house seats against incumbent State Representative Jay Lawrence and Senate Pro Tempore John Kavanagh.

Kurland feels that both Lawrence and Kavanagh are on the “opposite end” of what the people who elected them want, living in “an ivory tower who do not feel the pulse of what a community requires.” If elected, Kurland states, that unlike his opponents, “it will not be the last time they (the people) will hear from him.”

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Retired Air Force Colonel Hollace Lyon Offers a Consensus-Building Vision as a State Representative In LD11

Do you think anyone regardless of credentials can teach special education children?
❌ Do you think taxpayer money should be used to help upper-income earners apply for tax credits to send their children to private religious schools?
❌ Do you think it is okay for the state to tell cities and towns the voices of their residents do not matter when they decide by a 90 percent margin to require the names of campaign donors to be publicized?
❌ Do you think people should be charged with a felony if they help senior citizens who cannot walk to their mailboxes to mail in their ballots?
❌ Do you think the process of getting citizen-sponsored initiatives on the ballot should be made harder?
❌ Do you think it is okay for people to carry concealed weapons near or on school and college campuses?
❌ Do you think people can buy weapons without a background check?
❌ Do you think tax credits for the coal industry are the best long-term energy investment strategies for the state?
❌ Do you think it is anyone’s business why a woman exercises her right to choose?
❌ Do you think there were once I.S.I.S. training camps in the northern Mexico deserts?

If you answered no to most or all of the questions above, Arizona LD 11 State Representative Mark Finchem may not be the choice voters should be making this November because he subscribes to all the views listed above.

There is, however, another candidate that voters in LD 11 may should vote for:  Colonel Hollace Lyon, who is running on a platform consensus-building and fiscal responsibility that emphasizes, “Investing in Our Future, Protecting and Preserving our Communities, and Securing our Liberties.”

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