Tag Archives: public education

Focus People, Focus!

Cross-posted from RestoreReason.com.

I was at a SOS AZ presentation on public education funding last night and after a slide about corporate tax credits, one young woman advocated for holding the corporations responsible for not supporting our schools. Although I would normally be one of the first to vilify corporate America for their greed at the expense of the rest of us, I think her ire was a little misplaced. Arizona corporations after all, are just taking advantage of the laws incentivizing them to act a certain way. These aren’t loopholes that corporations are paying high-powered lawyers and accountants to find for them, but incentives the Legislature has directly handed to them to. It isn’t after all, like the tax credits allow the corporations to pocket more profit, they are still paying out the same amount of money (whether in taxes or credits), they just get to choose where their taxes go.

THEREIN lies the rub. THEY get to choose where their tax dollars go…not us, the people. That’s the problem with all these tax credits and exemptions, 331 is the number I heard last night, that the Arizona Legislature has granted. You see, ideally, tax credits should be granted to incentivize behavior that voters want and that produces good for all of us. We’ve all heard the saying though, that “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” When all the power in a government is consolidated on one side, the tendency is not to look at the common good, but the good of “your” people. And, when it is apparent to lawmakers that they can act with impunity because they will continue to get reelected despite their failure to provide for all the people in their care, the tendency is for them to do whatever they want.

Yes, corporations also have a responsibility to care about the common good, but I really don’t blame them for taking advantage of legal incentives for directing their tax dollars where the Legislature wants. The rest of us suffer though, because these incentives reduce the size of our general fund “pie”. We also suffer because the diverted funding, essentially our tax dollars, then has no accountability nor transparency associated with it. We don’t know if it is being used for the purpose intended and we certainly don’t know the return on our investment. Continue reading

YWCA’s Operation Haboob Initial Report

The YWCA of Southern Arizona’s Stand Together Arizona & Training Advocacy (STAT) Center conducted a statewide survey and held 14 town halls from Nogales to Kingman (including Bisbee, Tucson, Casa Grande, Tempe, Glendale, Globe, Show Low, Wickenburg, Prescott, Yuma, Lake Havasu City,  Flagstaff), in the Fall of 2017.

Here’s their initial report, which was released at the Arizona State Capitol on Thursday, January  18.

Complete findings will be reported later at www.ywca.org/operation haboob. This is a statewide, non-partisan, advocacy effort.  2000 people answered the survey.

“Let’s take Arizona by Storm” is their rallying cry.

More info on STAT at : https://www.facebook.com/YWCASTAT/

March to Save Our Schools at Arizona State Capitol

Jan 6, 9 to 12 noon, AZ State Capitol, 1700 W. Washington St.Phoenix

“Save Our Schools is calling parents, teachers, and concerned citizens! On January 6 we will be kicking off 2018 as the Year to Save Our Schools with an event at the Arizona State Capitol. Bring all of your family and friends – we will march, make posters, hear from keynote speakers, listen to live music, play on bounce houses, and send the state a loud and clear message: We are here to support our public schools!

Please spread the word, check out carpool options, recruit friends and coworkers, and plan on joining us!

** Co-Sponsors include AZ PTA and AZ Schools Now **

9-10am: Coffee/hot chocolate, sign-making stations, expo booths
10-10:30am: Remarks from guest speakers
10:30-11:30: March to Save Our Schools
11:45: Call to Action by SOSAZ”

https://www.facebook.com/events/1608947095833245/

AEA Education town halls with Gubernatorial Candidates

Nov. 1 – Flagstaff

Nov. 8 – Yuma

Nov. 29 – Phoenix

Nov. 30 Tucson
Specific location information for each is on our Blog for Arizona calendar for each of these dates: https://blogforarizona.net/calendar-2/.

Two Democratic candidates running for Governor:  LD 9 State Senator Steve Farley and Dr. David Garcia, education professor at ASU, who ran for Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction in Nov. 2014.

Show Up & sign for Save Our Schools Arizona on July 15

SAVE OUR
PUBLIC SCHOOLS!

“AZ Legislature passed SB 1431 this year and we are saying
“HELL NO!”
This Voucher Law (SB1431) allows the little bit of money left for our teachers &  public schools to be used for private, parochial and home schooling; allowing privateers to profit from our tax dollars with almost NO accountability!

This is the only concrete way to stop this.
SHOW UP & SIGN July 15th, 9-2 pm.”

Volunteers will have SOS buttons or shirts on
and are waiting for you at each of these locations in Pima County:
McDonalds 775 W Via Rancho Sahuarita
Starbucks 1209 W Irvington
Valencia Library 202 W Valencia
The Mercado 100 S Avenida Del Convento
Starbucks 10785 N Oracle Rd
McDonalds 8349 N Cortaro 85743
Beyond Bread 421 W Ina
Café Luce 4205 N Campbell
Starbucks inside Basha’s 6900 E. Sunrise
Le Buzz 9121 E Tanque Verde (*only at this location 8-2)
Beyond Bread 6260 E Speedway
Civano Coffee House 5278 S Civano Blvd
Martha Cooper Library 1377 N Catalina Ave
Match Point Tennis 100 S Alvernon (*only at this location 10-4)

“WE NEED 75,000 VALID SIGNATURES BY JULY 31st

This petition is REAL, not like an online petition with no teeth. This has teeth. Once we meet our goal of 75,000 VALID signatures, SB1431 is stopped and it gets referred to the ballot in 2018 when we all get to vote NO and at the same time vote in new leadership that looks out for our students and teachers!”
For More Info Visit SOS Arizona: http://saveourschoolsarizona.org/

Queue the Spooky Organ Music: It’s Budget Time in the #AZLeg (video)

FY2018 Arizona budget

Watching the budget discussion on Cap TV. This JLBC update will be archived on the azleg.gov website.

The much-anticipated FY2018 Arizona state budget was dropped yesterday. On Tuesday, just before 5 p.m. both the Republican and Democratic Appropriations Committees heard the JLBC review of the Republican budget.  Thus begins the mysterious whirlwind of the Arizona budget finalization process, which is scheduled to end in the wee hours of Friday morning.

As a citizen, I always scratched my head as to why the Arizona budget is always passed in the middle of the night. Obviously, the suspicion is that there is something the majority party wants to pass, and it doesn’t want you to know or to be there when it happens. There’s an element of that, for sure, because we have seen some scary stuff passed in the middle of the night by Republicans– like the voter suppression omnibus bill and blowing the doors off of campaign finance by dramatically boosting campaign limits. The majority party schedules the third day of the budget process just after midnight because they don’t want their members to go home between the debates in the Committee of the Whole (COW) and the 3rd Reading vote. If members go home, someone could say, “What are you thinking?” and change votes.

Check out the budgetary known knowns, known unknowns, and the unknown unknowns below.

Continue reading