Monday, May 9, 2016

Arizona Prop 123 to Fund Schools First Step to Big Scam

Howard Fischer reports the GOP budget reveals that Governor Ducey’s oft-repeated assertion that Prop. 123 is a “first step” to more education funding is a scam. His budget actually cut education funding, again. Ducey, lawmakers looking to restore education cuts:
A tentative agreement being negotiated would reverse a year-old decision by lawmakers to change how the state calculates aid to schools. The result would be to restore money that schools would have lost in the agreement announced earlier this week.
The deal being worked on also would scrap a proposed change in law that would penalize districts which use their own taxpayer dollars to construct needed new schools.
Pressure has been building amid increased scrutiny of the fact that the budget proposal — the one that is supposed to represent the consensus of Ducey and the GOP leaders — actually would cut the amount of money going to K-12 schools this coming year.
It also comes as Ducey is trying to convince voters to approve Proposition 123 to tap the state education trust fund to settle a lawsuit and provide more money for schools over the next decade.
More to the point, the governor, in a bid to line up votes for Prop 123, is promising that the infusion from the ballot measure is just a “first step” in improving education funding. The fact that the budget deal announced earlier would actually cut education funding makes that a harder sell.
Some would call this a Bait and Switch while others would simply call it fraud. It is a scam nonetheless.
On paper, that announced budget plan includes $132 million new funding for K-12 schools. That, however, simply reflects both the growth in the number of students as well as the voter-mandated requirement — one the state is finally obeying — to boost aid every year to account for inflation.
But that plan also would change how the state computes how much each school district gets, using each school’s current enrollment versus the number of students it had last year. That change harms more districts than it helps.
The bottom line is that K-12 funding next year under the deal Ducey agreed to would have been $21 million less than what the schools would otherwise get automatically just from enrollment and inflation.
The revelation of this scam was too much for The Republic‘s Laurie Roberts. More Cuts to K-12 schools? Really, Gov. Ducey? Really?  Source 
Wake up, Arizona.

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