Some of the leading proponents of the Red for Ed Movement wrote a collective piece in AZ Central on August 29, 2019, critical of the budget and fiscal choices made by the Republicans in the last legislative session, and calling for an additional infusion of one billion dollars into public school funding.
These leading advocates (Rebecca Gau of Stand for Children Arizona, David Lujan of the Arizona Center for Economic Progress, Dana Wolfe Naimark of the Children’s Action Alliance, Reverend Martha Seaman of the Arizona Interfaith Network and Joe Thomas of the Arizona Education Association) praised the efforts of the thousands of supporters who moved a reactionary legislature in 2018 to increase monies for education.
They also expressed disapproval of the Republican-led Legislature in 2019 for not moving much further from the increased downpayment funding schools. They chastized the conservatives for worshiping the altar of tax cuts at the expense of public schools and the vulnerable again.
The Red for Ed Advocates, feeling enough is enough, wrote that:
“No longer will we believe “there’s no money” to address the issues facing our students.”
“No longer will we wait for politicians and some business leaders who continue to kick the can down the road because they lack the courage to act.”
“No longer will we sit on the sidelines and watch our school buildings crumble, our textbooks and technology fall apart and our school buses break down – not when inaction is at the expense of the health, safety, and well-being of our students.”
To that end, these education leaders have announced the formation of a new coalition, designed:
“to address the most pressing challenges in Arizona classrooms, namely the teacher shortage and retention crisis, classroom sizes and education support services.”
Their ultimate goal in forming this coalition to formulate budget solutions, either through the legislative or initiative process, for the state’s schools, is to secure an additional billion dollars for public education expenditures.
Responding to a question about what lies ahead, David Lujan of the Arizona Center for Economic Progress stated:
“We are continuing to do the research necessary so that if we do move forward with a ballot initiative, it is something that will be effective in providing a permanent, dedicated sustainable funding source for Arizona’s public schools and it will be something that has the strong support of Arizona voters.”
Public Schools in Arizona need to funded according to 2020 economic needs, not pre 2008 estimates.
Bravo for the Return of Red for Ed.
Hopefully, this new coalition will be able to build off the foundations laid in 2018 and finally bring the State Public Schools the fund they desperately need.
Featured Image from Gila Valley Central