Phoenix, Ariz.—As the Legislature is preparing to vote for an extension of Proposition 301 revenues for public education, AZ Schools Now is expressing its grave concerns about lawmakers’ intent to change or reduce the funding in future sessions. Several legislators in recent days have expressed their desire to change the measure. According to the Arizona Capitol Times, Senate President Steve Yarbrough stated, “It’s better for lawmakers to renew Prop. 301 themselves because it ensures they’ll be able to ‘tinker’ with those revenues in the future.”
Education advocates have been rallying for a renewal of Prop. 301 because teachers, students, and parents need resources they can count on. Senator Yarbrough’s statement indicates that he and other legislators intend to change or reduce that funding in the future, which leaves more financial threats hanging over our public schools.
Currently, about half of Prop. 301 funds go directly to teacher pay. It is a major risk that our current and future legislators would siphon funds away from teacher pay and into pet projects such as voucher-style private school “scholarships” and “results-based” funding schemes.
AZ Schools Now calls on Governor Doug Ducey to make a public commitment that he will reject any changes in funding amounts or allocations should he be reelected in November.