Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Gov. Ducey – let's work together to fund our schools

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Leaders of the Senate Democratic Caucus released the following statement:

"In yesterday's state of the state speech, Governor Ducey promised a lot of things we've been saying for years. His promises to help recruit and retain teachers, continue restoring funds to our neglected public schools, and restore TANF limits is refreshing. But the big question everyone's asking is how he will pay for it. Well, in the spirit of bipartisan cooperation we've put together some ways we can pay for it - easily and immediately.

  • Cap the school tuition organization (STO) corporate tax credit expansion and allocate the savings to teacher recruitment, retention and training. This will allocate $12 million in just the first year.
  • Redirect the ongoing $5 million per year "freedom school" appropriation to fund the Teacher Academies. Let the Koch brothers pay for their little pet project, not Arizona taxpayers. Trust us, the brothers can afford it.
  • Send Prop. 301 for renewal and increase the sales tax from 0.6 cent to a full one cent. This would result in approximately $430 million annually in funding for K-12 education and other beneficiaries.
  • TANF restoration back to 24 months is easy because any state investment is more than doubled by federal matching funds. Currently we're losing millions by restricting it to 12 months.
  • We even have a bonus proposal that isn't on your list: use the money awarded to Arizona from the Volkswagen emissions settlement to purchase fuel efficient buses for school districts.

"We're ready to work with you to get this done. In fact, for years we've been ready to work with Republicans to give the people of Arizona, the people we are elected to serve, what they have been demanding all along - strong state support for our neighborhood district schools.

"Our door is open, let's get this done."

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