In today's State of the State address, Governor Ducey said his goal is to make Arizona the best place in America to live, work, and do business. Ok.
"I propose, in this session,” he said, “that we work together to reform and lower taxes and preserve Arizona’s good name as a responsible, competitive state.” Like the Governor, I’m very excited for schools to safely reopen, and I want our economy to get back on track.
But make no mistake – his mention of lowering taxes ultimately will result in cuts to education funding as state revenue shrinks, as has happened time and time again.
It is so important for all of us to tell our representatives: Do not cut education funding as part of the Governor's budget agenda.
Gov. Ducey is simply out of step with millions of Arizonans who are demanding to solve our education funding problem. The voters who demanded change at the ballot box and secured a victory for Prop 208 have the momentum. But we need elected officials to know that you're opposed to all attempts to further erode education funding by lowering taxes.
Our representatives have not gotten the message yet. Can you send one today?
Read our full press release below:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 11, 2021
DUCEY IS OUT OF STEP WITH VOTERS: STATE OF THE STATE SPEECH MISSES THE MARK ON EDUCATION, COVID, AND TAXES
Gov. Ducey missed the mark on at least two key issues with voters: education funding and COVID-19. He also ignored the ongoing racial divide in our state and nation. A recent Stand for Children opinion poll shows emphatic support for additional education funding and opposition to any attempt to bypass taxes from Prop 208 – Invest in Ed.
(PHOENIX)-- According to voters, lack of funding is still the biggest problem facing public education. They also think Governor Ducey has done a terrible job addressing Covid-19. But you wouldn’t know that following the Governor’s State of the State speech today.
After touting the importance of education and teachers, he spoke about lowering taxes. If the past is any indication, this would result in cuts to education funding - as it has every other time taxes have been cut. It is also out of step with what Arizona voters actually want.
The latest public opinion poll by Stand for Children reveals that despite the passage of Prop 208, 72% of Arizona voters believe there is still a need for additional funds for Arizona public schools. Efforts to cut taxes in other areas find little support – 40% support, 39% oppose; Opposition increases significantly when voters are informed that funding for education could also be reduced (58% opposed).
The Governor’s remarks on COVID-19 were also a miss, compared to voter concerns. Arizonans sharply disapprove of the Governor’s job performance in handling COVID with 58% disapproval, though they agree it is the most important issue facing our state.
Rebecca Gau, Executive Director of Stand for Children Arizona, responds to the speech and the implications of the poll results, “Arizonans do not like the way the Governor has handled COVID-19, and his speech indicates he plans more of the same. As for returning to school in person, survey results show that parents are very supportive of school districts keeping their kids safe while providing instruction. - 76% of people are concerned about the impact of digital learning on the student achievement gap between low-income students and their wealthier peers. The Governor seems to be offering a partisan playbook solution, rather than meeting the needs of his constituents.”
Gau also commented on the implications for school funding, saying “Governor Ducey missed the mark on school funding – that is very clear. Voters have spoken and will not give in to any attempts to bypass Prop 208 – Invest in Ed. Unfortunately, the Governor has not gotten the message yet.”
Stand for Children Arizona is a non-profit education advocacy organization focused on ensuring all students receive a high quality, relevant education, especially those whose boundless potential is overlooked and under-tapped because of their skin color, zip code, first language, or disability.