Category Archives: Education

Look Out Taxpayers, They Are Going to Blow It

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We are not happy.  Nope, not one bit.  Zilch.  Zero. Nada.

We have all watched intently on the budget discussions over the past several months unfold in the legislature concerning the budget fix of 2009 and the budget for 2010.  Many of us have spoken with our legislators, attended Townhall forums, and listened to economists say that raising taxes (even temporary ones) during a recession is a very bad idea (and could be catastrophic).

In fact, we would even opine that the communication has never been better between our elected representatives and the voters in many regards.  Legislators have heard our voices loudly and clearly to NOT raise taxes.  Many of us expressed what a great opportunity we have to shrink the big government of the Napolitano administration.  Many legislators spent long hours figuring out ways to cover the huge gaps between income and expenses.  They even came up with a plan and a budget was sent to Governor Brewer for approval.

And then…

Early in the week, we heard that Governor Brewer is not happy with the budget proposal sent to her and will even shut down government if an agreement cannot be reached by July 1.  The latest word now is that Senate President Bob Burns said that there is a tentative agreement to ask lawmakers to refer a sales-tax to the ballot, though no specifics have been outlined or official announcements have been made.

Say what?!  We think we made it pretty clear at the TEA parties in Tucson and Phoenix and in our conversations with our legislators that we don’t want more taxes — even if they are temporary.

Let us point out a few points to the Governor and the legislature:

  • We don’t want more taxes.
  • We want small government.
  • We don’t want more taxes.
  • We don’t care if you shut down government.  We don’t want more taxes.
  • We don’t want more taxes.  We are taxed too much already.

Also, what is interesting to note is that the tentative agreement indicated that if the vote went to the ballot, the language would provide directives where the money, if approved, would be sent to specific accounts like education.  Here’s a problem… the vast majority of the spending for education is in administrative costs not in the classroom.  So, even if the vote passes, money still would not be going to the classroom.  Rather, it just would be eaten up by administrative costs.

If the legislature and the governor want to do right by the taxpayers and for Arizona, they need to remain focused on a very simple thought — Shrink Government.  Then, and maybe then, our mood will change to happy.

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Monday News Update

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 Here are the top stories that we are following today.  If we missed one, please let us know.  Please check back later for our commentary on today’s news story.

Arizona Daily Star

Consultants rap Kino Hospital’s tab to taxpayers

Supreme Court needs new look, senators say

School districts plan for all-day kindergarten

State resolution to feds a silly waste of time

 

Arizona Republic

Follow the cash: Charities spent bulk of it on salaries, expenses

An Arizona Republic investigation examines how a charity network is able to legally inflate its finances.
Guide | Don Stewart: In pursuit of God’s reward | More
Day 1: Charities benefit from loopholes | The series

Senators want justice with wide experience

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama’s search to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter should extend beyond the current roster of federal judges, senators from both political parties said Sunday.

Full-day kindergarten program to continue

School districts across the Valley are preparing to continue offering full-day kindergarten next school year because they’ve been assured the popular program won’t be cut by the Legislature.

Hopis fighting to keep ruins open to public

As the Legislature grapples with a $3 billion budget shortfall for fiscal 2010, Homolovi Ruins, the only state park dedicated to Native American culture, is among facilities that could face closure as Arizona State Parks anticipates budget cuts.
Tour Homolovi Ruins State Park

Pima County considers parks closures, fee hikes

Pima County supervisors are expected to consider closing facilities and making other cuts to its parks department in an attempt to head off a budget deficit.

Phoenix news briefs

PHOENIX – The Arizona Supreme Court will consider the CityNorth incentive-agreement case on June 1

Scottsdale/Northeast Valley news briefs

SCOTTSDALE – Residents are invited to a pair of open-house meetings this month to learn about a proposal to improve Pima Road from McDowell Road to Via Linda.

Scottsdale tourism budget takes big hit

The city bureau expects a 25% drop in funding.

Don’t slash funding for education in Ariz.

John Wright: Don’t cut funding for education.

  

Mohave Daily News

Supervisors to discuss salvage yard
KINGMAN – A Mohave Valley recycling and salvage yard will get a look Monday by the county supervisors.
FULL STORY

 

Phoenix Business Journal

Grand Canyon University planning major expansion

University pays $50M for site it had been leasing, plans to build new 5,000-seat event center, dormitory and library, as well as expanding its classroom facilities.

 

Sierra Vista Herald

Property tax reformers prepare to hit streets

Monday, May 4, 2009 2:15 AM MST
ELFRIDA — As supporters of property tax reform prepare to hit the streets with petitions in hand, organizers are visiting communities to get the word out about Prop 13 Arizona.

Fast Facts from AZ Department of Education

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Lately, there has been a lot of talk about the legislature and budgets but I think it is important to note some fast facts.  Our facts today come from the AZ Department of Education and they are worth noting:

ADM went from 859,023 in 2004 to 951,117 in 2008.   This is an INCREASE OF 10.7%.

Number of Administrators went from 2,804 in 2004 to 3,305 in 2008.  This is an INCREASE OF 17.9%.

Number of Classified Managers went from 2,374 in 2004 to 3,030 in 2008.  This is an INCREASE OF  27.6%.

Number of Teachers went from 47,396 in 2004 to 53,883 in 2008.  This is an INCREASE OF 13.7%.

Average Teacher salary went from $42,324 in 2004 to $49,331 in 2008.  This is an INCREASE OF 16.5%.

Superintendents salaries went from $12,837,427 in 2004 to $19,188,361 in 2008.  This is an INCREASE OF 49.5%.

Total state aid went from $3,179,994,562 in 2004 to $4,453,747,156 in 2008.  This is an INCREASE OF 40%.

Based on this information from the Arizona Department of Education, it appears that those areas that saw the biggest increases were in administration not the classroom despite the dramatic increase of state aid.  Sometimes the facts just speak for themselves.