Starting with the words “Not Again,” the pro-public school organization Stand for Children released an ad late last week decrying the Republican attempts to gut Invest in Ed-Proposition 208. The JD Mesnard bill, Senate Bill (SB) 1783, will cut more than $377 million from the proposition, which was just passed 5 months ago.
Calling SB 1783 a continuing “illegal scheme to cut education by hundreds of millions more” after years of budget cuts to schools and the voter passage of Proposition 208-Invest in Ed last November, the narrator in the 30-second ad stated this was a “dishonest power grab” that undermines the will of the people and helps “the wealthiest of Arizonans” at the expense of “students, teachers, small businesses, and the rest of us.”
The ad closes with the narrator calling the viewers to contact their state legislators and tell them to vote against SB 1783, “no illegal schemes, and tell them you’re watching.”
Stand for Children Arizona Executive Director Rebecca Gau stated in a press release:
“If SB 1783 passes, Arizona teachers, students, and schools will lose over $377 million in funding. Meanwhile, 6,000 millionaires get a $35,000 per year tax break. That’s more than Arizona’s average starting teacher salary. Make no mistake. Despite the lies told by legislators who want to stop us, even the Joint Legislative Budget Committee analysis shows that this is a specific attack on Prop 208 – Invest in Ed, passed by 1.7 million voters in November. SB 1783 violates the Voter Protection Act and could lead to yet another expensive lawsuit for the state.”
“The Prop 208 – Invest in Ed ad alerts voters to the cynical, underhanded actions at the legislature and asks them to take action. Over the last few years, public opinion polls have shown that education is THE most important issue for voters. The legislature has clearly forgotten that. We want to make sure they remember.”
“The legislature is attempting to illegally undermine the 1.7 million Arizona voters who passed Prop 208 – Invest In Ed. The public voted for more education funding and expected the legislature to respect their constitutionally protected wishes.”
The press release notes several findings from an analysis of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee Analysis. These included:
- “The revenue cuts will only affect revenue created by Prop 208 – Invest in Ed, thus violating the Voter Protection Act.”
- “86% of the funds removed from Prop 208 – Invest in Ed will come from 6,192 tax-filers with net taxable income of over $1 million per year.”
- “These 6,192 Arizonans would receive an annual $34,600 tax break, which is higher than Arizona’s median income, and higher than many starting teachers’ salaries.”
According to the Arizona Department of Education, there are more than 1,150,000 students in Arizona schools and close to 60,000 certified instructors.
Are Republican lawmakers really going to screw them out of desperately needed monies for the state’s public schools so they can pander to less than 6500 millionaires by giving them a $35,000 tax break?
To those lawmakers that put millionaires over children and the teachers that instruct them. If you vote for this grotesque measure that does not serve the public good and move Arizona forward and it somehow passes.
See you in court soon and at the ballot box in 2022.