Friday, January 13, 2017

Arizona Democrats ready to work on real investments in our schools

Senate and House Democratic Caucuses
Senator Katie Hobbs, LD24, Senate Democratic Leader
Representative Rebecca Rios, LD27, House Democratic Leader

January 13, 2017

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Senate Democratic Leader Katie Hobbs and House Democratic Leader Rebecca Rios released this statement on Gov. Ducey's budget proposal.

"In poll after poll, the people of Arizona have been very clear that more resources are needed in order for Arizona kids to be successful. The governor's State of the State address raised hopes about his level of commitment to education, but the devil is in the details.

"He promised to finally invest in teacher retention and recruitment, but his budget offers teachers a raise of just four-tenths of a percent a year, which doesn't even keep pace with inflation. For new teachers starting at low-income schools, this budget does present opportunities. But for our most loyal teachers who have stuck with our schools through years of budget cuts and no raise, this is hardly a vote of confidence.

"He promised increased funds for universities, but is pulling that money away from cities, towns and highways, while once again offering nothing to community colleges.

"We know we see a return when we invest in kids. The same can't be said for the additional $107 million in state revenue we'll lose to unaccountable corporate tax credits, or the corporate STO credit that grows by 20 percent each year, or letting our roads fall further into disrepair.

"It's easy to cut programs, like TANF and JTEDs, then restore them and claim to be the hero. The same is happening with education. Governor Ducey spent the vast majority of his State of the State speech touting all the good he has done and will do for Arizona's schools. But after almost a decade of neglect, they need more than mile-wide-and-inch-deep platitudes. This is a crisis of the majority's making.
It's long past time to make meaningful and sustainable investment in our education system, one that prioritizes students over special interest tax cuts. We can make these investments by ending irresponsible tax cuts, committing real state dollars to schools and renewing Prop 301 at a full cent.

"Democrats have offered solutions that would make a difference in our schools and our economy. They are solutions that can be easily achieved by working together, which we have always been willing to do. We will continue to prioritize people over politics and advocate for real, long-term changes that ensure a prosperous future. To Governor Ducey and the legislative majority we say, let's get this done.
Our door is open."