As a former educator, I like teaching by analogy. So does David Safier writing at the TucsonWeekly/The Range. Here is his analogical take on the education funding deal.
I like to use analogies to explain things, and my favorite on the education funding issue is to compare Arizona Republicans to deadbeat dads and moms. I like it because it's not really an analogy. It's a statement of fact. They've refused to spend $330 million a year in educational child support that's required by law. According to the judge, they're already more than a billion dollars behind on their child support payments, and counting.
Here's what they're congratulating themselves for. If the voters give them they go-ahead, they're willing to pay 70 cents on the dollar of what they owe, and 60 percent of it will come out of the kids' trust fund.
"This is our offer, take it or leave it," they're saying. "We'll grab 42 cents of what we owe you from the trust fund we set up for the kids' future, kick in 28 cents from our own pocket, and keep the rest of what we owe, 30 cents, for ourselves."
"Oh, and there's this," they add. "If times get tough, we'll stop payments, and maybe even ask for some of our money back."
So I say to each of you deadbeat legislators and Governor Ducey: This deal doesn't make you a great guy or a great gal. It doesn't mean you're supporting your kids. It just makes you less of an asshole than you were before.
And here's the sad part. There's a good chance people will take the deal, because they know it could be the last chance to get any more money out of those stingy sons of bitches.
The big-deal deal passed by lawmakers in Special Session is not really an increase in school funding. It "pumps" money into schools. Sure. But what it pumps is what schools were already owed under a voter-mandated obligation that lawmakers ignored during the recession.
School leaders agreed to accept less than the courts said they were owed and settle a lawsuit because they faced the possibility of years more litigation. Even if the court again ordered payment, there was no guarantee lawmakers would cut the check.
So they took what they could get.
But paying a past-due bill – mostly out of the state land trust – does not boost school funding beyond where it should have been had lawmakers followed the requirements of a 2000 ballot proposition.
Arizona school funding will remain near the bottom nationally.
Imagine if GOP lawmakers decided to use the budget surplus to make significant increases in school funding.Democrats are ready.
Imagine if the goal were to bring Arizona’s school funding up to the middle tier. Just the middle!
Imagine if GOP lawmakers stopped pretending that more tax cutting will stimulate the economy in ways that past tax cutting hasn’t.
Hard to imagine that.
And still more from Laurie Roberts on what Doozey does not say
Perhaps what’s most telling about Ducey’s email to constituents is what he doesn’t say. He doesn’t say that he’ll continue fighting to boost funding for Arizona’s students -- maybe seek to boost us all the way to the 45th best-funded system in the country.
Last week, his press aide, Daniel Scarpinato, was asked if this proposal was a start – as so many parents and educators are hoping – or whether it’s the end of the debate on funding Arizona’s public schools.
Scarpinato responded by calling the proposal "a huge boost to K-12 funding."
"It's a reason to celebrate," Scarpinato told a reporter. "It provides permanent certainties to schools and resources and is a huge addition to school resources, and these are the resources educators have said they need. There's always going to be discussions about education, but this is a significant increase for spending for our schools and is going to have a real impact on kids who are in schools now."
Reading between the lines…
Permanent? Certainties? I'll spare you the pain of reading about what Il Duce did say. But if you feel up to reading pure bullshit, Roberts has the list of what Dicey said and her rejoinders, point by painful point.
Or you can settle for Safier's analogy. Robbing from the kids' trust fund stinks no matter how you dress it up.