Monday, November 09, 2015

This solves nothing

This solves nothing 

The education inflation lawsuit settlement just isn’t enough to help our schools recover from years of Republican budget cuts. As the details about the settlement come to light, it’s even clearer that this cannot be the last word on education funding.

A Republic columnist recently pointed out that the GOP should get “no prize for past-due payments,” because the settlement “won’t give anything new to schools” and only provides a portion of “what schools were already owed under voter-mandated obligation that lawmakers ignored during the recession.”

The columnist also wrote that, “paying a past-due bill – mostly out of the state land trust - does not boost school funding beyond where it should have been” and “Arizona school funding will remain near the bottom nationally.”

Another columnist shared the sentiment and wrote, the settlement moves “Arizona up from dead last in the nation for state funding of public education to maybe 48th” because “since 2008, Arizona has slashed per-student funding of K-12 schools by more than all but three other states.”

This settlement does not solve all of Arizona’s school problems. It gives schools just over 70 percent of the court-ordered back payment. And 70 percent is a “C” average – our kids deserve better than that.
A corporate executive also sent a letter to The Arizona Republic, expressing her concern about the state’s habit of cutting taxes for special interests, which reduces money for schools. She said, “We need a governor and legislators who will address this… rather than continue scrimping on public education, the driver of Arizona’s future."

Senate Democratic Leader Katie Hobbs summed it up, saying “students deserve better than this shell game.”  We’ll keep working for our schools and our kids. #KidsDeserveBetter

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