Friday, April 28, 2017

Arizona Has Cut a BILLION Dollars From Education Funding Now A Call To Add A Sales Tax to Fund Salaries

Knowing that a Republican led legislators have cut school funding since 2008, why would anyone be in favor of an increased tax for salary increases. School Superintendent Diane Douglas thanks you should (see article below).

Arizona has cut over $1 billion from education funding every year since 2008. Arizona is ranked last or near the bottom in per-student funding and teacher salaries. This has led to historic teacher shortage and high class size. Arizona’s parents, community leaders, and business owners need to ask themselves what kind of schools do we want for our children and our future workforce and do your elected officials share your priorities around public education. The cuts are only a drop in the bucket Arizona still owes schools $3.8 billion under a Maricopa County Superior Court judge’s reading of the law – a reading that came after the Arizona Supreme Court ruled last year that the Legislature has been ignoring a voter mandate to fund inflation. Has Arizona paid this debt to schools?

Arizona schools Superintendent Diane Douglas calls for sales-tax hike to fund major raise for teachers
Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas is calling for a state sales-tax hike to fund an immediate 11 percent teacher pay raise — five times the amount Gov. Doug Ducey proposed in his budget — and an additional $100 million a year for school repairs.
Douglas is proposing to ask voters to permanently expand the Proposition 301 sales tax to a full cent. Prop. 301 currently taxes sales at six-tenths of a cent and brings in about $600 million a year for education. It's set to expire in 2021.
“My proposal would generate $400 million annually for teacher salaries and school buildings,” Douglas said in a statement. “By setting aside the majority of this funding for teacher salaries, we will provide close to an 11 percent raise for teachers in the first year, which means nearly $5,000 more in take-home pay. Using the remaining funding for school facilities can help address another looming crisis, which is the depreciation of our school buildings and infrastructure.”

Douglas made the announcement Thursday morning alongside the Arizona Business Education Coalition and other education leaders.