Sign the STRONG SCHOOLS Pledge
Arizona’s economy and its homegrown workforce need strong public schools to be able to compete regionally, nationally and internationally. Today, our economic strength is being drained because:
- Our students receive 31% less in per pupil funding than the national average,
- Lowest-in-the-nation teacher pay has left thousands of classrooms without qualified, full-time teachers,
- Expanded ESA voucher subsidies biased toward high-income families is exacerbating an already large achievement gap.
Therefore, I endorse:
- Increasing revenue to create sustained and dedicated funding to expand and stabilize our workforce of qualified teachers, provide critical tools for classrooms, and repair and maintain school facilities,
- Repealing the taxpayer-funded ESA voucher expansion because Arizona cannot afford to fund two education systems: one public, one private.
I believe in fostering a strong, vibrant Arizona economy, which is why I SUPPORT STRONG PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
The Billion Dollar Funding Gap
Arizona’s public schools took a massive hit during the Great Recession. Our Legislature slashed $1.5 billion in funding, the biggest reduction in K-12 monies in the nation. The 2016 voter-approved settlement over inflationary funding, known as Proposition 123, only restored 18% of the cuts that had been implemented since 2008.
The Voucher Scam
While Governor Ducey and many lawmakers have said we can’t afford to do more to strengthen public education, they have made private and religious schools a high priority, dramatically growing the amount of tax dollars that are diverted away from public schools. The public dollars diverted from public schools through private school tax credits and ESA vouchers has grown from $14 million in 1999 to $253 million in 2018.