Phoenix, Ariz.— AZ Schools Now—a coalition of parents, teachers, school board members, faith-based leaders, and children’s advocates—responded to Governor Doug Ducey’s five-year education funding plan by saying the plan failed to meet a critical test of sustainability.
“Arizona’s public schools and the students they serve are suffering under years-long neglect,” declared Beth Simek, president of the Arizona PTA. “They need a sustainable plan they can count on with a dedicated revenue source.”
Dawn Penich-Thacker, spokeswoman for Save Our Schools Arizona, stated, “When the governor declared in his State of the State address that he wanted to ‘restore the long-standing cuts from the recession,’ we were hopeful this funding plan would seriously address the $1.1 billion in cuts that have yet to be reinstated. But if we follow the governor’s plan, it will take another decade or longer to get us back to where we were a decade ago and will not move us out of our bottom of the barrel funding.”
“Our teacher shortage crisis will not improve without a serious, long-term plan to address the funding inadequacies in our budget,” said Reverend Andy Burnette, a leader with Arizona Interfaith Network and pastor of Valley Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Chandler. “We simply do not have enough revenues to get us back to pre-recession days or move us forward in a meaningful way. We’ve cut too much and added too little.”
AZ Schools Now recently called on the Legislature and Governor Doug Ducey to deliver sustainable, permanent and equitable investments in the state’s public schools in 2018 and presented a menu of investment options the Legislature could enact that would generate hundreds of millions of dollars for Arizona’s K-12 public schools.
Those options include:
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The coalition remains committed to working with the governor’s office and the Legislature to find sustainable, permanent and equitable solutions to strengthen our public schools.