Meyer: State can pay $1.3 billion owed to schools
STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – A Maricopa County Superior Court judge will hear closing arguments today in a case that will determine whether the state will have to pay the $1.3 billion it owes Arizona schools. House Minority Whip Eric Meyer, D-Paradise Valley (District 28), released this statement:
“For years, our schools have been underfunded. As a result, classroom sizes have grown, buildings have fallen into disrepair and curriculum has suffered. This jeopardizes the economic security of our state.
“There are some extremists in the Legislature who believe that it is all right to cut education funding, while doling out ineffective, corporate tax breaks. Most people in Arizona disagree with that strategy. And the Arizona Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that it was illegal for the Legislature and the governor to withhold voter-mandated inflation funding from schools.
“Education funding is not a political football. It is the key to any realistic economic-recovery plan. I trust that the judge will make the right decision and order the state to repay the $1.3 billion it owes schools. There are ways to meet this financial obligation. We could close some of the wasteful tax loopholes or stop handing out ineffective tax cuts to big business. We could also quit funding private prisons or stop Student Tuition Organizations from draining money from our public schools. It is absolutely possible to fully fund education; it is just a matter of having the right priorities.”