by David Safier
The rush to pass these cuts seems to be connected to the federal stimulus money. There are theories that if the education budget is cut deeply enough, we won’t qualify for federal stimulus funds. Many have asked me why the majority at the legislature would wish this for our K-12 and university system when we already rank so low in spending for these vital needs compared to the rest of the nation. My answer is that we are here by design; that these policies are driven by a desire to privatize our education system.
Despite promises to the contrary to hold the budget talks in the open, the negotiations went behind closed doors and Dem leadership was not invited to participate. Dems had a sensible plan to help balance the budget without such deep cuts, but it was rejected.
We are caught in the depths of an ideological war in Arizona and the casualties are our children, our disabled, our seniors; in short, those least able to speak for themselves. It is contrary to logic, wrong-headed and dangerous for our economy and our future.