Monday, February 16, 2015

Diane Douglas Arizona SOPE Direct Hit On AZ Governor Doug Ducey Crony Administration

Diane Douglas is absolutely correct cronyism is alive and well in the Ducey administration and state legislature when it comes to owning charter schools. Some Legislatures own charter schools and are voting on the demise of public education. Would be interesting to see who owns all of the charter schools in Arizona. be
Looking beyond her zealotry on Common Core and her tone deaf approach to leadership, though, there is something that shouldn't be overlooked.
Douglas is right … about a few things, that is.
Public schools are being underfunded to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars while Ducey and the Arizona Legislature press ahead with the state's latest round of tax cuts.
Ducey's proposed budget actually cuts operating funds for K-12 schools by $13.5 million, according to an analysis by azcentral's Fact Check. Roughly $24 million that had been available to improving schools would move to the state School Facilities Board, allowing the state to guarantee debt so that charter schools can more cheaply build new facilities.
Douglas isn't the only one who worries that the governor will boost the fortunes of private charter operators at the expense of traditional district schools, the ones that educate 83 percent of Arizona students.
His transition team was filled with people aligned with charters and school-choice groups. Among them: former state Superintendent Lisa Graham Keegan, who as a state legislator sponsored the bill that created charter schools in 1994; Matthew Ladner, senior adviser for policy and research at the Foundation for Excellence in Education and a former vice president at the Goldwater Institute, and Erik Twist, a vice president at Great Hearts Academies and a former assistant principal at BASIS Scottsdale, both charter schools.
Douglas may constitute one doozy of a severe weather event but I'm more concerned about the climate in which school districts find themselves at the state Capitol.
A cold front, that would be. Really, really cold