Phoenix– It seems like Republicans in the legislature and Governor Ducey have finally been scared into listening to the hundreds of Arizona teachers right outside their doors. Today as they work to fast-track Prop 301 renewal, they may avoiding another devastating blow for our schools, but their solution is too little, too late. Prop 301 renewal does nothing more than maintain Arizona’s education status quo. It does nothing to solve the teacher shortage crisis, increase teacher pay, lower class sizes, or fix leaky school roofs. The Legislature and Governor still have no plan to restore school funding to investment levels from 2008, much less a level that nears the national average.
What’s more, the fact that Prop 301 is being renewed by legislators, instead of voters, introduces new dangers. The Arizona legislature cannot be trusted do what’s right by our schools. Because Prop 301 will no longer be voter-protected, in the coming years, legislators are likely to manipulate Prop 301 funding to serve their own political goals. Republican Senate President Steve Yarbrough made it clear that would be the legislature’s intention when he was quoted as saying, “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.”
“Republicans in the legislature and Governor Ducey should know that when you turn in a sloppy, hastily written and long overdue assignment, you’re going to get an F. Renewing Prop 301 is a Trojan Horse masquerading as the solution for our education crisis. Steve Yarbrough’s comment proves again that you just can’t trust these legislators to do what’s right by our children and teachers. They will pat themselves on the back for passing this and with the other hand siphon off that money for things like more school vouchers for private and charter schools,” said Josselyn Berry, Co-Director of ProgressNow Arizona.
ProgressNow Arizona calls on Governor Ducey to commit that if re elected, he will reject any future changes in Prop 301 funding amounts or allocations.