Still catching up
A new report shows that many cities in Arizona are stuck in painfully slow recovery from the recession. A true economic recovery plan would invest in education. House Democrats have advocated for more funding for K-12 classrooms and affordable university tuition. Arizona students need quality, affordable education so that they are prepared for college and the workforce. But Republican leaders continue to slash millions from education budgets, and the effects of these budget cuts can be seen in our economic situation.
A recent article highlighted financial advice firm WalletHub’s analysis of the recession recovery in 150 cities. No Arizona cities made it to the top half of that list, and Tucson faired among the worst.
The article also noted that Tucson had the largest percentage loss of college-educated workers of all Arizona communities, and that Gilbert, Glendale, Peoria, Phoenix and Tempe also lost a portion of the college-educated workforce.
A new study from the Arizona Board of Regents shows that less than half of Arizona’s K-12 students are qualified to attend the state’s universities. The ABOR president told a reporter that there aren’t enough students coming out of Arizona’s K-12 schools to replace the number of adults with bachelor’s degrees.
Those college students who are graduating face a job market that is reportedly the third worst in the country. Arizona’s jobless rate increased for a third month in a row, while the national unemployment rate fell.
Businesses understand the need for a well-educated workforce. The Phoenix Business Journal published an article revealing that businesses are avoiding the state because of “Arizona’s reputation on education.” According to the article, two companies considering relocating to Phoenix passed because “they were afraid they would not find good schools for their own children.” These businesses took their 3,000 high-paying jobs to other cities.
How many more headlines like this will Arizonans have to read before Republican leaders make education funding a priority? With the state’s economic future at stake, we have to #AskDuceyWhy he’s not investing in education now.