Sunday, November 1, 2015

The education deal: solution, stopgap, or scam?

EJ Montini at asks: "... is this deal a solution to Arizona education problem, a stopgap or a scam?" And answers: "It’s all three."

I beg to differ. It probably is a stopgap for a strapped education system. It certainly is a scam in that, if the voters concur on May 17, AZ will begin borrowing from education-future to pay for education-present, with no guarantees whatsoever that there will be any money or will to repay what is stolen from the state land trust. But that is hardly a solution.

Given the opinions quoted by EJ in his story, it is hard to conclude otherwise.

The deal takes money from the state trust fund and increases the base payments to schools; it guarantees annual inflation adjustments (which the legislature hasn’t paid in a while), and it adds a bunch of general-fund money.

So, what’s the problem?

It's robbing from the future to fund education so that the GOPlins can jimmy the tax structure.

... in a statement the watchdog Children’s Action Alliance said: "For every dollar in this plan from accelerated withdrawals from the State Land Trust, there is only 30 cents in new commitment from the state general fund. The plan relies much more heavily on borrowing from our future than on re-setting basic budget priorities. If the legislature uses general fund dollars instead for more permanent tax cuts, that means even less money available for public schools when the State Land Trust plan expires… The increased withdrawals from the State Land Trust for 10 years mean less funding available from the Trust for education every year after that."

If our suspicions are correct, and the legislature does make more tax cuts, then you have to believe that the deal is not a solution, not even a stopgap, but only a scam foisted on the AZ taxpayer by a lawless legislature and a Governor running a con.

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