Thursday, March 25, 2010

Of Arizona's 90 legislators, 40 voted against education 100 percent of the time; and all 40 are Republican, according to a study

The Arizona Education Network has compiled a summary of all legislators’ voting records pertaining to their support of public education at all levels (K-University) during the 2009 Regular and Special Sessions. Sifting through all the bills that were passed by the Legislature and sent onto the Governor’s office, AEN found twenty-one (21) different pieces of legislation that dealt directly with public education budgets and the dollars allocated to it. AEN totaled each legislator’s votes “FOR” and “AGAINST” public education. AEN also tallied the number of times a legislator did NOT vote on the legislation pertaining to public education budgets. In our state, which is ranked last in education funding, AEN defines a vote to protect dollars allocated to public education as a vote “FOR” public education. Conversely, AEN defines a vote to take budget dollars away from public education as a vote “AGAINST” public education.

The summary is organized by district and then by house: Senate first, followed by the House of Representatives. The first set of numbers following a legislator’s name provides the percentage of times the legislator voted “FOR” and “AGAINST” public education, as well as the percentages of times that legislator did NOT vote on the legislation. This percentage was derived using the total number of bills on which the legislator could have voted.

The second set of numbers for each legislator shows the percentage of times he or she voted “FOR” and “AGAINST” public education, adjusted for the number of public education votes missed. In some cases, adjusting for the number of missed votes resulted in a significant change in a legislator’s numbers.

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