Sunday, September 27, 2015

AZ business groups agree to rob future children to fund public schools

The AZ Chamber of Commerce, surprise surprise, is backing Guv Doozey's plan to rob from future education to fund present educational needs. The are on board with that and against using the current surplus as was proposed by Sup. Diane Douglas. The Phoenix Business Journal has that story.

Top business groups aren’t getting behind Douglas’ call for a special session of the Arizona Legislature to put surplus cash in the classrooms.

Some of them prefer Gov. Doug Ducey’s proposed ballot measure to put more State Trust Land money toward K-12 schools. Ducey’s plan ups state land sale and lease revenue to schools by $1.8 billion over five years. The plan scales back those increase years after.

The Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry backs Ducey’s plan. Chamber President and CEO Glenn Hamer is a top Ducey ally.

"The chamber supports Gov. Ducey’s plan to reform the State Land Trust to increase funding to our K-12 schools, and we’re encouraged by the discussion it’s sparked at the Capitol," state chamber spokesman Garrick Taylor said. "We hope that the superintendent plays a constructive role in the passage of a plan that has been recognized by Forbes as ‘a major step in the right direction.’"

That plan raids the State Land Trust to pay now while incurring a cost in the future, a move opposed by State Treasurer Jeff DeWit.

Some business groups also want to wait to see what happens with a lawsuit brought by K-12 school contending they’ve been shorted inflation payments by the Legislature. That lawsuit could cost $331 million or as much as $1.3 billion if courts side with school contentions.

Settlement talks have broken down over the lawsuit and State Senate President Andy Biggs and House Speaker Dave Gowan have come up with some of their own plans to boost K-12 spending.

Some of that entails raiding money from the voter-approved First Things First preschool funding program.

So Biggs and Gowan plan on robbing the cradle to cover the constitutionally mandated funding of public education. In the process they want to repeal the voter initiatives on inflationary funding and First Things First. In essence they will ask voters to screw AZ kids.

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