Monday, March 21, 2011

House Democrats hold GOP accountable for plan to ax education

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Democrats are taking on the politicians at the capitol who have jeopardized Arizona’s future by repeatedly slashing funding for our local public schools and plan to do so again with the Senate Republicans’ budget.

“House Democrats know that quality education is both a moral and economic issue — key to both our state’s economic recovery and children’s future,” said House Minority Leader Chad Campbell. “It is completely irresponsible and makes no sense to massively cut something that so greatly contributes to our economic recovery.”

The Senate Republicans’ budget, headed for the House:
-Cuts an additional $172 million from K-12 education over the governor’s budget, which will increase our kids’ classroom sizes exponentially.
-Cuts universities by $65 million more than the $170 million reduction proposed by Gov. Jan Brewer
-Cuts $73 million from community colleges.

These cuts come after the largest cut to education in state history made by Republicans in the last two years and it takes away what voters intended to do as a last resort by increasing the sales tax – fund our kids’ schools.

“In the Senate Republicans’ budget, one of the biggest cuts to education is to higher education, which is one of the biggest economic generators in Arizona,” said Rep. Tom Chabin, D-Flagstaff (District 2), ranking member on the House Higher Education Committee. “Let’s think about that for a moment: The biggest cut in this budget is a cut to one of the biggest economic generators in Arizona. It’s cutting off your nose to spite your face.”
Instead of going after tax cheats and uncollected taxes, Republicans made massive cuts to an economic generator and thus, a strong future. There are nearly $10 billion of exemptions from the sales tax in Arizona, but Republicans refuse to close the loopholes that benefit their rich, special interest friends.

“Meanwhile, House Democrats are fighting to fully fund our schools, ensuring our children have access to all-day Kindergarten and that our public universities and community colleges remain affordable and provide needed job training for all Arizonans,” said Rep. Lela Alston, D-Phoenix (District 15).

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