I am afraid that is all we hear in Arizona about funding education. Just wait, we will have money once the economy turns around. It's funny, the economy has improved, but schools are not properly funded in Arizona. Just wait, we will get money from the court settlement that requires the state to pay schools for the inflation costs that were neglected during the Great Recession.
Funny, that money, too, has had a hard time finding its way past the lawyers of the Republican administration. Just wait, let's use the state land trust that Governor Ducey offered up as the golden egg to solve the education funding dilemma. Funny, but that money won't be seen for two years, and it will provide approximately a whopping $330 per student-IF voters approve it.
Every year, children move on to the next grade level. Their classes are too full. Their districts are having to make choices about four-day weeks, cutting vital positions like nurses and bus drivers, and asking their communities for bonds and overrides just to maintain the buildings. All of these aspects of modern public schooling impacts the children's learning. When they fall behind, can they catch up? We know they don't catch up in college. They just drop out when they compete with others from states where investments in education was never an issue.
The state's fiscal year just ended, and there is a $266 million surplus in the coffers. That is your tax money, and you should have a say in how it is spent! The Republican legislature thinks it is best to sock it away for a rainy day. (By the way, there is already over $400 million there.) Yeah, why not pad the balance? Why not see what investment we can make on Wall Street with that money? Why invest it on our children by negating some of the cuts that were made this year?
We are running out of time in Arizona. Our education scores have ranked at or near the bottom of the 50 states for several years. Unfortunately the trend is not going up, it is flat- lining. We have an election next year, a big one for the country, and an important one for our state. It is time we elect pro-education candidates. The difference of 3 Senate seats in the legislature could tip the balance from Wall Street to Main Street for our children. Will you help us make a difference for our children?