Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Governor Ice Cream vs Arizona - Part 2

The information in these two posts comes from the K-12 Pubic Education and Proposition 123, published by the League of Women Voters of Arizona on February 1, 2016; "Governor Could 'Pack' Supreme Court Under Bill," Tim Steller's  April 17th column in the Arizona Daily Star;  azednews.com ; and A Resolution of the Governing Board of Amphitheater Unified School District No 10 of Pima County, Arizona Opposing Legislation to Repeal Essential Desegregation Funding and accompanying fact sheet..
When they say it more clearly than I can, I've italicized my plagiarsm.

The Arizona Daily Star, my local newspaper, reluctantly suggests that voters approve Prop 123.  I understand their logic; this is the only way to put money into the schools immediately.  I disagree. There is no certainty that law suits and automatic economic triggers and the general recalcitrance of the Arizona Legislature will actually allow this to happen. And, there is more.  Oh, yes, denizens, there is always more.

The assault on public education continues with Senate Bill 1125, a measure which will phase out desegregation funding which provides more equitable services and opportunities for nearly a quarter of a million low-income and minority students in Arizona. Disguising this attack on the poorest among us, legislators claim that these funds give an unfair advantage to those districts serving the poorest students, leaving the wealthier districts to raise property taxes to gain similar services.

The financial implications of losing these dollars is clear.  99.5% of desegregation funding (goes) directly to Amphitheater District classrooms, (funding) 106 individuals from the Amphitheater District alone.  These dollars are used for English Language Learners, to monitor and audit district disciplinary actions to ensure equity for all students, for benefits to the most vulnerable among us.

The legislature could remove this inequity by allowing all districts to apply for this funding, seeking to meet unmet needs.  But that would entail giving money where it is needed, and our legislature has no interest in that, it seems.

There is also the Current Year school funding fiasco, which bases the funding on butts-in-the-seats this year.  It will vary, especially for districts like Amphi's which have a mobile population.  Districts will be unable to plan ahead, since funding will not keep up with changes in the student body.  The lost funding under this structure will largely offset any benefit at all from Prop 123.

That last sentence should grab you.  Here, take this.  No, gimme that.  As the district's fact sheet states: What the right hand of the legislature and Governor would giveth, the left hand would taketh away.....

And then, to round out the list of atrocities, the Governor wants to expand the court from five to seven justices even though no on n the court or recently retired from it is saying that's necessary.  Why?  (L)egislative leaders promise to restore previously cut funding and give judges raises if the Supreme Court will not oppose the expansion.

Yes, you are reading it correctly.  As with the schools, the legislature and the Governor are horse trading with our futures.  Want a raise, teachers?  Want a raise, judges?  Go along with me and I'll meet you at the corner of greed and plausibility. Governor Ducey can add two cronies, thus insuring that local Court rulings will be more in his favor.  Since there are potent attacks on education already in the pipeline, this seems like the actions of a man getting his ducks in a row to fight the good fight.

Ah, if only the good of the children were at issue.  If only there were people in power who were concerned about the future of the state.  If only there were .........


  1. G'morning- I obviously can't vote in Arizona, but after reading this post I'm a bit confused.

    There are a bunch of sentences with double negatives (e.g. not passing this will lower/remove that), and many calls for "DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN!" All well, and good.

    That said, if we agree with your point, how SHOULD we von? That is, not just what should we fight against, but what should we hope/fight/vote for?

    -Big Cuter

    1. As Stephen Pinker calls it, I fell victim to "the curse of knowledge." I assumed everyone knew what I was talking about, which is probably true in Arizona and no where else.

      Sorry, denizens.

  2. This is so typical of Arizona politics. Let's take it to the voters! Yes! And we do, and the people decide. Is that the end? Oh no. The legislature does not follow the will of the people. They challenge it. They stall. They make the people take them to court. And then when they lose that, they pull a stunt like this, trying to get the voters to screw themselves out of what the courts already ordered be paid to the schools! Grrrr....

    1. And with President Trump in the White House......
      oy. vey.


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