Since 2008, Arizona has cut K-12 and university budgets more than nearly every other state, to the point we now spend, in the public school classroom, about 70 percent of the national average per pupil: $7,382 in Arizona vs. $10,667 nationwide, one of the lowest rates in the country. For higher ed we’re even worse, number 50 in per student spending.


Shortly after [Doug] Ducey was elected [governor] and announced his education plan, however, the universities braced for another $75 million cut, which is what he suggested (while increasing prison funding). Well, he eventually went further, cutting the universities $99 million and eliminating almost all community college funding!


Some of the most vocal critics of Ducey’s education policy have been school board members, district superintendents and teachers, which does not please the governor. Early on, when his budget was being debated, 233 superintendents signed and sent a letter to the legislature asking them to stop their boneheaded budget slashing. After Ducey’s draconian budget passed, Dr. Michael Cowan, superintendent of Mesa School District, the largest in the state, sent a letter to teachers and parents critical of the governor’s plan. Ducey’s response was swift: his “dark money” backers (Koch of course), with the governor’s knowledge, organized a robocall campaign to smear Dr. Cowan. The message to school employees was clear: shut up or we’ll shut you up.

Well, they did not shut up.


SB 1172, which passed the House this week, doesn’t do a damn thing to help schools, but it does make it illegal for education officials, including superintendents, principals and teachers, to speak for or against bills, plans or citizen referenda that affect their funding, that affect their ability to do their job.

Continue reading:  http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/03/28/1374000/-Arizona-school-officials-protest-education-cuts-so-the-legislature-makes-their-protests-illegal

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